May 19th, 2009 by ejalbright
Photo from bazonline.com.
“Mystery Park,” a theme park in Interlaken, Switzerland, that includes a 1/2 scale replica of Chichen Itza’s pyramid, El Castillo, reopened last weekend after shuttering its doors for three years because of financial failures.
At the reopening, Mystery Park’s creator and founder, Erich von Daniken, spoke on the end of the Maya calendar on Dec. 21, 2012.
Mystery Park first opened in 2003 with the promise of explaining the world’s mysteries as detailed by von Daniken in a series of books, the most famous being the multi-million selling Chariots of the Gods published in 1968. In it, von Daniken outlined a theory that the world’s great civilizations had been visited and helped by aliens from outer space.
Inside the faux-Chichen Itza pyramid visitors were once again treated to a film that promotes a theory that space ship crash-landed in Maya Mexico several thousand years ago, and the aliens inside were assisted by the natives living there. In return, the visitor took several teenaged boys with them into space, and returned them 52 years later after having been trained in the advanced technology of the visitors. These were the men who founded the Maya civilization.
In addition to the exhibits around ancient astronauts, Mystery park added other more mainstream attractions, such as go carts and a Segway track. The opening weekend also had a performance by a Swiss rock-and-roll band, Container 6. The park also gave free “Wurst-und-Brot” (“bread and sausages”)
More than 2,000 people, mainly locals, visited the reopened attraction. The owners, brothers Oskar and Armin Schärz, expressed pleasure at the turnout. The CEO, Marcel Meier, said he hopes to attract 90,000 visitors before the park closes again in the fall.
The names of management are familiar to the Swiss investment community, as this was the same team that operated Mystery Park when it failed in 2006. In 2008, the park was sold to a group of investors who planned to convert the park into something called “Two Lake City,” but the financial crisis in October forced them to drop their plans and Mystery Park reverted to its original management team.
The Schärz brothers and Meier have formed a new company, New Inspiration AG, to run Mystery Park.
Von Daniken is apparently do all he can to assist the relaunch. He signed autographs and posed for pictures. His speech on the Maya calendar was well attended. According to the author, when the Maya calendar runs out on Dec. 21, 2012, the extraterrestrials will return to earth. At the end of his speech, von Daniken said he would pray to his “gods” that Mystery Park will have a successful summer and many more summers to come.
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