Ancient Aeroplanes
Did the Incas Build Aircraft?

Pre-Columbian (c. 500-800 CE) golden sculptures resembling aircraft

These golden sculptures are pre-Columbian. It is difficult to determine their exact age as gold is hard to date. However it is strongly believed that they date from around 500 - 800 CE. They have been found in central and also coastal regions of South America. When first found they were thought to be zoomorphic (representing animals). Well, looking at those images I can't come up with one animal looking like these artifacts below. Is it a bird, is it a plane...well it certainly looks like it from where I stand. 

 Objects resembling aircraft

And why not? It is easy to dismiss these finds as the creation of complete morons who only serve their gods without knowing what they are actually doing. It has wings, it has a stabilising tail, it has some kind of landing gear, what else do you need? Lets face it even if this model of an aircraft came with a signed letter stating that these are flying machines, orthodox science would still doubt it. Well, some have said that the object in the top picture isn't very aerodynamic as there is a very large semi disk in the way where we would imagine the cockpit to be. True but then again some people have come up with another ingenious explanation.

Sketch of ancient object with 'retractable' nose cone

See how the "nose" of this device is retractable? For landing you have it forward, for flying you put it underneath. I like this idea a lot. Also considering the ornaments on both wings, it was mentioned that in Amerindian culture spirals were representing "ascend" and "descent". Unless it was just a very naive but artistically gifted ancient Indian that thought to himself  : "Hmm, those triangles on my stylised bird look a little boring...oh I know, I'll put some spirals on there just for fun." As I keep saying, "Give our ancestors some credit." 

Strange bird model resembling aircraft c. 200 BC

This surreal model of a bird has been dated to 200 BC and wad discovered in  1898 in a tomb at Saqqara, Eqypt. Not knowing much about aeroplanes in those days it was put away in a box in an Egyptian Museum and rediscovered by a Dr. Khalil Messiha. This model has undergone far more tests as the above as you can make several models like it without using the original. So what did these tests come up with? They revealed that it seems to have the proportions of a push glider which can take heavy loads at very low speed but there was a catch; it seemed the device was still in development as it was not quite perfect yet. However to even design a model to be near perfect takes a lot of aerodynamic knowledge. Something that was lacking quite profoundly at the beginning of our own aerodynamic history. To me the Egyptian model has far more finesse than even the Wright brothers whimsical first flying machine.

Strange bird model resembling aircraft various views

Yes of course those models could be birds or fish or flying rats. It seems that if it doesn't fit into our modern view of history it gets molded until it fits, hence the bird analogies.

More from Egypt, exactly in a 3000 year old temple at Abydos a few hundred miles from Cairo these hieroglyphs were found only recently:

Hieroglyphs showing what appear to resemble aircraft. Abydos temple, Cairo, Egypt c.2600 BC (location)
Location - click to enlarge
Hieroglyphs showing what appear to resemble aircraft. Abydos temple, Cairo, Egypt c.2600 BC (detail)
Detail - click to enlarge

There is far more to the idea of ancient flying machines. Most are accounts from ancient scriptures such as the bible or other holy books. The most impressive and detailed description of all must be the ancient Indian flying machines or "vimanas". Text about these machines can be found in many Indian scripts of which a list will be given at the end. However the Samara Sudradhara text goes into great detail (written about 400BC). No less than 230 verses are written about the vimanas including construction, take off, cruising for more than 1,000 miles and even what to do in case of a collision with a bird!

Basically there were two distinct kinds of vimana. The first manmade with wings and very much like our modern aeroplanes, the second one a non-aerodynamic shaped, disc-like or cylinder-shaped craft not made by humans. Within these two categories seem to be many differing variations. These aircrafts were capable of quite astonishing maneuvers nowadays mostly associated with UFOs.

Texts vary as to fuel they used, some claim that the vimanas used a mercury powered vortex engine, others talk about a yellow liquid. In the Vaimanika Sastra (Aeronautical Science) text which takes its sources also from ancient scripts (400BC), there is talk about 3 kinds of different flying machine, 31 parts of these vehicles and 16 materials are described that have been used in their construction. An ancient named Bharadvajy the Wise who used ancient scientific texts as his source wrote about 70 authorities and 10 experts in aeronautical travel. However the vimanas allegedly "traveled with the speed of wind" and  "gave forth a melodious sound".

There is understandably far more to these vimanas as I can possibly put down here (like the plan to fly to the moon and Shivkar Bapuji Talpode's unmanned flying craft build after the vimanas in 1864, which traveled 1800 feet before crashing to earth). It is worth to delve a little deeper on this subject. The more of these text is known, the less it seems just another surge of inspirational fantasy by our ancestors. There is just too much technical detail and too many teachings  only relevant to the pilots rather than the common man. In order to reveal a lot of detail there has to be an audience that knows what is talked about. The vimanas were either real or the whole book was a really boring early science fiction book.

1923 drawings derived from ancient descriptions of 'vimana' or flying craft [1] 1923 drawings derived from ancient descriptions of 'vimana' or flying craft [2] 1923 drawings derived from ancient descriptions of 'vimana' or flying craft [3] 1923 drawings derived from ancient descriptions of 'vimana' or flying craft [4]
1923 drawings derived from ancient descriptions of 'vimana' or flying craft [5] 1923 drawings derived from ancient descriptions of 'vimana' or flying craft [6] 1923 drawings derived from ancient descriptions of 'vimana' or flying craft [7] 1923 drawings derived from ancient descriptions of 'vimana' or flying craft [8]

Click an image to enlarge

These drawings, dating from 1923 are based on descriptions on the vimanas from the following ancient sources:

Vaimanika Shashtra
Samarangana Stradhara
Yuktikalpatani of Bohja
Rigveda, Yajurveda
Atharvaveda
Ramayana
Mahabharata
Puranas
Bhagaravata
Avadhana
Kathasaritsagara
Raghuramsa
darma Abhijnanasakuntalam of Kalidasa
Abimaraka of Bhasa
Jatalas

(c) Nicole C, 2004

[ More Ancient Mysteries ]
[ Weird Home ]

If you are looking to catch a plane nowadays, you will need good airport parking. Whether you are flying to LAX airport or to Mexico, you will need airport parking.