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Unorthodox Thoughts

chewing gum for the mind

Television shows like the History Channel’s Ancient Aliens are entertaining, but drive me nuts.  Speculation by weird looking people with floofy hair and titles like ‘research scientist’ are presented almost as fact- without any evidence presented whatsoever.  The result of this sensationalistic approach to what is actually a very interesting topic is that any respectable observer discards the argument in whole.

Some examples of pseudo-science and wishful thinking as related to Ancient Aliens and ancient aircraft that add to the confusion and detract from serious analysis, but there are far more:

  • The account of Alexander the great and flying silver shields as retold by the show Ancient Aliens cannot be corroborated historically and is taken from a single reference in a book written in the late 1800s.  For some reason, this is reprinted everywhere without any research being done to authenticate its validity as a historical sighting.
  • The assuredly faked Indian flying machine codex published in 1975, but claimed to be copied from earlier source documents, called the Vaimanika Shastra.
  • The 1950 FBI memo where a field informant reported the Roswell Incident and the recovery of aircraft.
  • Crop circles in general.
  • The ‘wooden bird model’ found in 1898 in a tomb at Saqquara, Egypt credited to be an ancient Egyptian aircraft by some.
  • There is also the carving of what looks to be a rocket with men standing outside of it supposedly discovered at Kush, Egypt, which also cannot be verified.

If you go looking for ancient aircraft and spend some time filtering out the new age sites, there are some relics, interesting formations best viewed from the sky, and historical accounts that appear to stand the test of skeptics (at least at a general level) and our current knowledge of aircraft design.

Here are some examples that I found compelling supporting at least the idea that the ancients may have understood flight dynamics:

In Egypt at a place called Abydos, there were hieroglyphs discovered in 1848 that appear to illustrate modern/futuristic aircraft.

discovered at Abydos, Egypt in 1848

discovered at Abydos, Egypt in 1848

The bizarre account of an air battle by the Mayor of Nuremberg, Germany on April 14th, 1561.

April 1561

Pre-Columbian Gold Planes, most were discovered to have working flight characteristics- SETI investigated.  There is much conjecture around this, but there was a good amount of research done with mixed results.  The link examines it from a skeptic’s perspective.

skeptics examination of ancient columbian artifacts that can actually fly!I have been very interested in the geoglyphs of the Nasca people of ancient Peru for some time.  Ancient Alien proponents use this as evidence of alien landing strips, but why does it have to be alien?  There is no reason to assume that phenomenon observed from Earth is extraterrestrial, is there?  Why do so many make this assertive leap so quickly without evidence?  The aspect of the Nasca lines that is intriguing to me is that these lines are very ancient, are difficult to see unless you are standing on certain hills in the area, and appear to be designed for best viewing from an airborne perspective.  I am not saying that they weren’t made by people on the ground for purveyance by gods as part of a religious or cultural ritual, but what a difference it makes to see observe them from an aircraft– and wow that looks like a modern airport.

nasca airstrips?? maybe not, but still pretty cool and relevant

A more conservative approach would be to assume that the human imagination could be at play in the form of ancient science fiction.  Man has always wanted to fly, has always had a penchant for storytelling, admired the hawk and eagle and dreamed of visiting the stars I am sure.  Something like a Jules Verne from antiquity could be at play.

In the Indian Sanscrit epics written 3000 years ago, The Mahabharata and Ramanaya, there are references to aircraft and perhaps what many believe could be advanced and/or nuclear weapons.

“It was an unknown weapon, an iron thunderbolt, a gigantic messenger of death, which reduced to ashes the entire race of the Vrishnis and the Andhakas.”

“An incandescent column of smoke and flame, as bright as ten thousand suns, rose with all its splendor”

“The universe is similarly said to consist of Vishnu. Vishnu is, again, the Soul of the holy Bhava of immeasurable energy. For this the touch of that bow-string became unbearable to the Asuras. And the lord Sankara cast on that arrow his own irresistible and fierce wrath, the unbearable fire of anger, viz., that which was born of wrath of Bhrigu and Angirasa. Then He called Nila Rohita (Blue and Red or smoke)–that terrible deity robed in skins, looking like 10,000 Suns, and shrouded by the fire of superabundant Energy, blazed up with splendour…”

(NOTE- My personal beliefs around aliens and ancient aircraft are agnostic, much as my belief in both religion and myth.  To overtly not believe or discard topics, without evidence, is nothing more than its own dogma.)

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