Even if you don't choose to believe what they did, you'll agree that Von Daniken is unlikely to die for his claims and doesn't claim (as far as I know) to have witnessed them. There is a difference.
Whether Von Daniken is willing to die or not for his theories is irrelevant IMO as to whether they have any basis in fact or not.
Okay, but that's not what I said. I'm not addressing how credible the theory is. I'm addressing peoples' respective levels of conviction and the point of treating everyone as an equal crackpot.
The Biblical folks saw something that they believed in so strongly they were willing to die for it. Whether history proves that it was a weather balloon, the planet Venus, mass hypnosis, etc. is irrelevant-- we're talking strong faith and serious belief. Based on eyewitness testimony.
Von Daniken has cranked out a series of unprovable assertions and vague speculation. His science is laughable and his research is sloppy. He ignores a lot of available evidence (or cherry-picks it for things to things to prop up his theories). He also takes credit for ideas that aren't his own.
Who's a crackpot?
Sadly he's also a guy who could ask stupid questions like (in Gold Of The Gods, IIRC) "how could these primitives have so accurately carved the shape of a skeleton on a stone centuries before X Ray machines were invented, unless aliens brought X Ray technology?"
If he's so unclear on the use of sharp instruments, he should apply Occam's Razor once in a while.