Isaac Asimov Discusses Ancient Aliens -- In 1978!

Recently I have acquired a number of older books by Sci-Fi authors, including the mystery novel by Isaac Asimov, Casebook of the Black Widowers.  Normally I do not read mysteries, but it was Asimov, so I decided to give it a go.  There I am, reading along, and generally enjoying the short stories, when in the middle of The Missing Item was the following:
Avalon nodded magisterially and said, "...And to those who can believe in Mr. Von Daniken's ancient astronauts and in Mr. Berlitz's Bermuda Triangle..."

Could Isaac Asimov, just by having a character in one of his short stories referring to such paranormal phenomenon, really have been from a different planet sent here to increase Human knowledge and possibly change the course of history so that we may one day have colonies on Mars, as some ancient astronaut theorists believe?  (If you are playing the drinking game, take a shot.)

And if you suspect I am poking fun at the Ancient Aliens TV series with that last paragraph, you would be correct.  I love the show overall, but honestly you can state almost anything you want and validate it with 'as some ancient astronaut theorists believe'.

Now it is not too surprising that the character of Avalon brought up Von Daniken, after all his book Chariots of the Gods did come out in 1968 and by the end of the seventies it had a cult-like status.  Hell, even my father, who is *not* a bookish person had a copy of the book, and I remember reading it in my younger years. 

It is interesting how so many fringe subjects are now part of modern mythos.  Just think back to these subjects back when the X-Files was first airing, and the subjects of aliens, big foot, and so many other things were relatively unknown.  Now we have a show called Fringe, and television shows about aliens, ghosts, and just about everything else you can think of.

Or, it could all be a matter of disinformation and selectively leaked truths so that the government can ease our minds so that when they reveal the existence of aliens, society will not collapse.  (As many ancient astronaut theorists beleve.)