- * Quote of Roger Bacon, Friar, 13th century: "Flying
machines as these were of old, made even in our days."
- * Hermes or Mercury wore winged sandals and a winged
hat. He could fly at great speed. Merely a legend? Often legends are based
on real happenings passed down through the generations and the only record
of what happened thousands of years before records were written down.
- * Daedalus constructed wings for his son Icarus, but
in piloting his glider the boy flew too high and fell into the sea (now
known as the Icarian Sea). Daedalus was not a mythological figure, he
was an aeronautical designer, one of the engineers of Knossos. They constructed
water-chutes in parabolic curves to conform exactly to the natural flow
of water - streamlined... Streamline could only be produced by long years
of scientific development and is an essential part of aerodynamics, which
Daedalus must have mastered.
- * The Chinese Annals relate that Emperor Shun (2258-2208
B.C.) constructed not only a flying apparatus but even made a parachute
about the same time Daedalus built his gliders.
- * Emperor Cheng Tang (1766 B.C.) ordered Ki-Kung-Shi
to design a flying chariot. The latter completed the assignment and tested
the aircraft in flight, reaching the province of Honan. Subsequently the
vessel was destroyed by imperial edict as Cheng Tang was afraid the secret
of its mechanism might fall into enemy hands. This implies that the Emperor
and his sages must have had blueprints of this skyship.
- * The Chinese poet Chu Yuan (3rd Century B.C.) wrote
of his flight in a jade chariot at a high altitude over the Gobi Desert
towards the Kun Lun Mountains. He accurately described how the aircraft
was unaffected by the winds and dust of the Gobi, and how he conducted
an aerial survey.
- * In the early part of the fourth century Ko-Hung wrote
about a helicopter in China: "Some have made flying cars with wood
from the inner part of the jujube tree, using ox leather straps fastened
to rotating blades to set the machine in motion."
- * The Sanscrit term 'vimana vidya' means 'the science
of building and piloting airships'. Why would they use or need such a
- * The Indian classic 'Mahabharata', one of the oldest
books in the world, speak of 'an aerial chariot with the sides of iron
and clad with wings'. An aeroplane?
- * The Ramayana describes the 'vimana' as a double deck
circular aircraft with portholes and a dome. It flew with the 'speed of
the wind' and gave forth a 'melodious sound'. Now that sounds more advanced
than the jets we see now - what were they?
- A pilot had to be well trained otherwise no vimana was
placed in his hands. The vimana could stop and remain motionless in the
sky. The ancient classic gives an account of how the vimana soared above
the clouds - from that altitude 'the ocean looked like a small pool of
water'. The aviator was able to see the ocean coast and deltas of rivers.
- The vimanas were kept in 'vimana griha' or hangars.
They were propelled by a yellowish-white liquid and employed for warfare,
travel or sport. One is amazed at the wealth of detail in this ancient
tale and wonders what stimulated it - fantasy of the authors or actual
memories and/or happenings?
- * In ancient India six young men constructed a dirigible
airship - the Pantachantra contains the full story of the experiment. The
machine was operated by a complex control system, providing a safe, fast
flight and perfect manoeuvrability.
- * There are two categories of ancient Sanscrit texts
- the factual records known as the Manusa and the mythical and religious
literature known as the Daiva. The Samara Sutradhara, which belongs to
the factual type of records, treats air travel from every angle. The book
contains 230 stanzas about the construction of flying machines. It deals
not only with take-off, cruising for thousands of kilometers, normal and
forced landings, but even with possible collisions of aircraft with birds!
The same source mentions the 'Samhara', a missile that crippled and the
'Moha', a weapon that produced a state of complete paralysis.
- * The pyramid texts contain a curious interpretation
of the purpose of the pyramids: as a ramp to the sky so that man may go
up to the sky.
- * There are 5000-year old images of Isis which portray
the goddess with folded wings.
- * Folklore from all over the world has strange tales
about flying machines. In 1958 the Smithsonian Institute published the
results of American, Soviet and Indian archaeological research which indicated
that 10000 years ago the Eskimos lived in Central Asia. How did they reach
Greenland? Possibly on foot or sleighs - but the Eskimo legend says that
they were brought to the arctic north by 'giant iron birds'.
- * Near Madison, Wisconsin, one can see on the ground
from a great distance colossal gravel carvings of birds, that measure
62 metres from one wing tip to another. Planes?
- * A photographic survey by the Peruvian Air Force of
the arid tablelands of Nasca showed a network of lines and geometrical
figures on the ground as far as the eye can see. The lines were made by
human hands by removing darker stones from the soil and exposing the lighter
inner layer - an undertaking that must have taken years to complete. There
are contours of animals and birds besides triangles and trapezoids. Most
of the lines run in such a way that there is no connection between them
and the more recent Inca roads. The area covered by these markings is
vast, it covers hundreds of square kilometers. The age of the Nasca patterns
was estimated to be at least 1500 years. The Indians say the giant pictures
on the ground were made by another race before the advent of the Incas.
The designs and lines can be seen from the air only at an altitude of
over 350 metres - for who were these markings intended?
- * In Salvador an antique vase was found which show
human figures in a dirigible in flight. Any connection with that and the
- Source: We Are Not The First, Andrew Tomas, 1971. This
Australian's research was conducted in the British Museum of London, The
Bibliotheque Nationale in Paris and the Lenin Library of Moscow.