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Peter Kolosimo was the pen name of Pier Domenico Colosimo (15 December 1922–23 March 1984), an Italian author, an early figure in the history of the ancient astronauts theory, and a strong proponent of pseudoarchaeology.
Many of his ideas were
ripped off by major influences on Erich von Däniken. In fact, one could say that Kolosimo kicked the ball, and von Däniken ran with it. For example, the best selling Terra senza tempo (English: Timeless Earth) appeared several years before Chariots of the Gods?, and outlines some fairly similar themes. He wrote a number of sequels. Kolosimo's works were originally written in Italian, then translated into English, in which they sold in pretty good numbers. His publisher was Sphere Books, which used to sell a lot of those kinds of books in paperback form, back in the day. Since his death, his star has somewhat fallen, and he is generally forgotten, although even if many of his books are out of print, many of his ideas are still in circulation. Kolosimo was himself heavily influenced by Immanuel Velikovsky, whom he referenced frequently in his works.
Kolosimo had various recurring interests: people in the Andes (with llamas), people in Tibet (especially lamas, fashionable at the time, e.g. Lobsang Rampa), Atlantis (and Mu), ancient nuclear bombs, flying stuff in the Rig Veda, alien influence on human evolution, and various weird cave paintings of variable vintage, often in the Sahara.
Kolosimo was also a communist, and often quoted "authorities" from over the Iron Curtain to advance some of his theories. He also repeatedly uses the quasi-Soviet word "cosmonaut" rather than the American-style "astronaut" in his work, so perhaps he is better described as an originator of the ancient cosmonaut theory.