I often find myself wondering about my eyesight and the quality of my perception. I mean, how much of what I see is actually ‘real’ versus an illusion. Technically we have blind spots in our vision where our optic nerve joins the back of our eye, yet our brains interpret and fill that space so we don’t actually have a blind spot in our vision. We monkeys are easily tricked by even the simplest of illusions.
Yet there is one visual mystery I just can’t believe is a trick. The ancient flyer.
The Ancient Flyer is a sculpture and carving that has been found all over the world. Said to be thousands of years old and yet, upon looking at it, appears to be an aircraft. No, really!
This post has been on my list for some time, but it wasn’t until my son poked my necklace and said ‘plane,’ that I remembered. That reaction, the ‘point and plane’ is exactly why I wanted to write this post in the first place.
The ancient flyer (the image in the title photo) was first found in Colombia and is believed to have been from the Quimbayan civilisation 300-1550CE. The reason it caused so much controversy is because it was originally thought to be an insect – much like the other golden sculptures from that era. However, no insect has its wings attached to the bottom of its body, nor do they have upright tail fins or stabilisers as the sculpture does. Weird, right?!
Here’s a three minute video giving you some more info from experts including a snippet where some German engineers made a large scale replica in 1994 and flew it…
The ancient flyer isn’t the only example of mysterious aircraft. There are plenty of other examples of ancient aircraft no one can explain. Like the Petroglyphs first found in Egypt in 1848, before we (or the Wright brothers) had even invented flight! The Petroglyphs became popular in the 90’s after a bunch of photos of Seti’s tomb were taken and posted on the net.
I’m not being funny, but even my two year old can see that there’s a helicopter, two ships and on another petroglyph a speed boat. But of course, there’s a totally scientific, evidence based reason that these aren’t in fact exactly what they seem…
Supposedly these carvings were used over more than one farohs reign, so the first ones were carved over again. Chuck in a splash of erosion (in a perfectly sealed tomb in which everything else was immaculately preserve) and you get these ‘double-carved-eroded’ images. God I feel sarcastic today… my eyeballs are already aching from rolling. Anyway for the sake of a well rounded argument, the skeptics came up with a name for this erosion bollocks, it’s called ‘palimpsests’
I’d have bought the erosion story if the above carvings were one offs. It’s almost believable that a freak occurrence causing the perfect erosion and re carving conditions would have bought about an illusion of a helicopter. But they weren’t the only case. Not even close. These petroglyphs have been found in various other locations including a temple in Karnak HUNDREDS of miles away.
There are also countless paintings of spaceships throughout history. I’d be here all day if I showed you all of them. But this post, by Crystalinks has a huge selection of examples, including several paintings that depict space craft linked to religious things in our past.
My fave example is this one, Crystalinks states:
“This painting is called “The Madonna with Saint Giovannino”. It was painted in the 15th century by Domenico Ghirlandaio (1449-1494) and hangs as part of the Loeser collection in the Palazzo Vecchio. Above Mary’s right shoulder is a disk shaped object. Below is a blow up of this section and a man and his dog can clearly be seen looking up at the object.”
Sure, it could be coincidence – just like the dozens of other examples in that post could all be coincidences too, but maybe not.
What I love about this weekly wonder, is the opportunity it gave me to investigate different types of aircraft. The beauty of fiction is that we get to make shit up. Just because science says you need a dihedral wing angle to fly a craft, doesn’t mean you need that in my story. I have been thinking about transport a lot and whether my ‘steam trains’ are really cutting the mustard.
Investigating this gave me loads of ideas too, what if time travel was actually easy to achieve you just needed the right aerodynamics, or what if you needed to use sound to move, or crafts the shape of animals, or even artificially intelligent craft the shape of animals…
If you’re interested in reading more on this topic, I’m reading this book (on the left) which you can buy here.
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