(with a tinge of racism, since Africans couldn't have possibly built the pyramids -- it must have been aliens!)
The "aliens did it" explanation has been deployed for practically every famous piece of ancient architecture at one point or another.
Upon further investigation, it seems those criticisms of Chariots
of the Gods (I wrote the wrong name above) are off the mark, since Erich von Däniken also appears to claim that Stonehenge and a variety of other ancient human achievements were the result of alien interference as well. His claims about the Pyramids are the ones that have stuck in the popular consciousness, though. I was pretty young when Stargate
first came out, so I'm unsure if the movie popularized this particular notion, or was utilizing something that was already in the popular consciousness.
Really, though, the most concerning thing is that so many people have lapped up Chariots of the Gods as anything other than fantasy -- when it was first published and