Prehistoric Flights

The history of flight may be considerably grander than we have ever dared imagine. Indeed a consistent wealth of evidence hints at the secrets of powered flight at a time now unimaginably distant. At the very least there is convincing evidence that hints at a much earlier age of aviation - one now completely forgotten.


Perhaps the earliest preserved record attesting to early aviation is a Babylonian set of laws named the Halkatha. This reportedly includes a passage which reads: "To operate a flying machine is a great privilege. Knowledge of flying is most ancient, a gift of the gods of old for saving lives."

Other Babylonian scripts like the "Epic of Etana" also contain references to the magical flight of Etana on the back of an enormous eagle. This eagle takes him higher and higher, and throughout the narrative there are remarkably authentic descriptions of the view that unfolds before them. This is obviously the account of someone familiar with flying. The sense of perspective, and patchwork of colour and haze, together with an accurate depiction of geographical features make this difficult to understand. Difficult that is unless the author, or someone close to him, had actually experienced the wonder of flight.

Accurate description.

In his book Secrets of the Lost Races, author Rene Noorbergen makes the following comment: "Whatever the vehicle of ascent may have been, the 'Epic of Etana' certainly supplies us with a very accurate description of the Earth's surface from various altitudes - descriptions which were not verified in our own era until the high altitude aerial flights of the 1950s, and the first space shots of the 1960s.

Question: Who made and recorded this observation in the ancient East before 2400 BC ?"

Missing lines.

In the same book Secrets of the Lost Races Noorbergen also mentions a 5000 year old Chaldean manuscript the Sifr'ala. This is believed to contain a detailed account of how to build an aircraft. An archaeologist who worked on its deciferment was astonished to discover text that speaks of "vibrating spheres, graphite rods and copper coils.." Writes Noorbergen: " on the subject of flight the writer comments on wind resistance, gliding and stability. Unfortunately many key lines of the text are missing, making any attempt at reconstructing the craft impossible."

Chinese flying machines.

Ancient Chinese texts also contain numerous references to experimental aircraft. Some of these have been documented to before the year 2000 BC.

In 1766 BC the Emperor Cheng Tang is believed to have ordered the construction of a flying machine that was subsequently destroyed lest anyone discover the secret of flight. In the 3rd century BC the Chinese poet Chu Yun made a detailed aerial survey of the Gobi desert, giving special praise to the durability of his craft over wind and sand storms.

Written records of oral traditions from Nepal also mention powered flight. They also acknowledge that the real secrets of flight were known only to the Yavanas. This is interpreted as the light-skinned people of the eastern Mediterranean, particularly Greece. This is highly significant because Greece has perhaps the best known account of the perils associated with early aviation.

Icarus and Daedalus.

The story of Icarus and Daedalus is almost exclusively looked at in terms of a colourful myth. A closer look at the story however reveals a great deal more.

In his work Metamorphoses, the Roman poet Ovid describes Daedalus as a highly skilled architect, the designer of the infamous Cretan maze. When this was complete he felt homesick, yet knew that king Minos would block his return, and that he was shut in by sea. His answer was to build a flying machine. As Ovid has him saying: " The king may block my way by land or across the ocean, but the sky, surely, is open, and that is how we shall go."

According to Ovid: "With these words, he set his mind to sciences never explored before, and altered the laws of nature."

Eventually two flying craft were made ready. One for Daedalus, and the other for his son Icarus. Daedalus made sure his son was aware of the rudiments of flight, and once in the air cast a watchful eye over him. Meanwhile on the ground the sight of these two flying machines excited considerable attention. Describes Ovid: "Some fisherman, perhaps plying with his quivering rod, some shepherd leaning on his staff, or a peasant bent over his plough handle caught sight of them as they flew past and stood stock still in astonishment, believing that these creatures who could fly through the air must be gods."

Exhilarating experience.

The two aviators then headed out from Crete across the Aegean Sea. For Icarus this was an exhilarating experience. In fact so overjoyed was he by the thrill of it all that he forgot his fathers instructions and soared further skywards, till the wax of the wings began to melt and he was "swallowed up in the deep blue waters, which are now called after him".

Today the Icarus legend is seen almost entirely in terms of poetic hyperbole. Yet surely we have here a testimony to early aviation. This was not after all a magical exploit. Daedalus was a master architect. He knew precisely how to fashion an aircraft and was also aware of its shortcomings. He realised there were things you just couldn't do, and these limitations - unlike many obvious myths - attest to its authenticity as an example of prehistoric aviation.


Tucked away in the Cairo Museum of Antiquities item number 6347, RM 22, was for many years considered just a small and insignificant artifact. This was after all no more than a tiny wooden plane discovered in a tomb near Saqqara in 1898. For many years it was kept in a basement storage area, where it was marked as 'bird object', and lay almost forgotten.

In 1969 however, Dr Kalil Messiha, an archaeologist, noticed the resemblance of the object to modern aircraft and decided to investigate further. A research committee was formed and the intitial findings were so impressive that the object was put on immediate display. Aerodynamic experts were later to testify that the model was remarkably airworthy, "indicating knowledge of principles of aircraft design which had taken European and American designers a century of airfoil experimental work to discover." Some experts noted similarities between the model and the lastest NASA developments in oblique-winged aircraft.

Dozens of examples.

Over the years dozens of such artifacts were discovered, all bearing testimony to an underlying knowledge of advanced aerodynamics.

But how could the ancient Egyptians have known of these things? Moreover was there a much larger working equivalent of this model that was now lost ?

Colombian jet.

These were all intriguing questions. Meanwhile another discovery of a miniature flying machine deepened the mystery still further. This was the so called Gold Jet from Colombia in South America. Considered to be well over a thousand years old, this tiny gold object was even more like a modern fighter plane. Thought to come from a pre-Incan culture, it measured just two inches long, yet posed enormous questions out of all proportion to its size.

Considerable attention.

Once again the Colombian plane artifact attracted considerable attention. For here was an ancient object bearing an unquestionable resemblance to a modern fighter plane. Aviation experts were particularly impressed. A test pilot Jack A. Ullrich noted that the shape of the wings and the tapering of the fuelage, implied that the original aircraft was jet powered and capable of supersonic speeds. Critics pointed out that the object could just as easily represent a bird or flying fish, and this was certainly a possibility. However the strongest clue that this was actually a depiction of a former flying machine came from the tail of the object. This triangular upright tail-fin had no equivalent in the animal kingdom. Moreover the resemblance to a modern fighter was complete even to the existence of an insignia on the tail fin. This was likened to the second letter in Hebrew alphabet - the letter beth.

The suspicion now grew that perhaps this amazing artifact did not after all originate in Colombia but was a Phoenician import from the Middle East.

Worldwide Phenomenon.

Whatever the truth, the reality is that ancient knowledge of flying machines was a world-wide phenomenon. Neither was South America limited to just this one artifact. Elsewhere on the continent at least six very similar artifacts were also discovered in Venezuela and Peru, and also in the Central American state of Costa Rica.

We must also remember that the vast linear markings in the desert around Nasca in Peru, could only really be viewed from the air.

If no one was capable of flight at that time, what was the point in constructing these vast linear networks? It just doesn't make sense!

The evidence however suggests that here as in Egypt and China, and the islands of Greece, flight had become a reality long before it was re-invented in our modern world. In fact wherever you go in the world there exist long standing traditions of pre-historic flight.


India is another country with a particularly rich tradition of ancient flying machines. An ancient collection of sacred Hindu books, the Samaranga Sutradhara, contains at least 200 hundred stanzas concerning almost every aspect of flying. The International Academy of Sanskrit research conducted a special study into this work and published its findings in a book entitled Aeronautics, a Manuscript From the Prehistoric Past. What emerged was a knowledge of avaiation - machines, and equipment, that came astonishingly close to what we know today.

These ancient texts speak of the flying machines as Vimanas. They possessed "carefully welded joints", and were heated and driven "by controlled fire from the iron containers..." . This sounds remarkably like modern jet powered planes, even down to the noise that they made. This was like "the roar of a lion", by which the whole thing was set in motion so that "the traveller sitting inside the Vimana may travel in the air, to such a distance as to look like a pearl in the sky"!

For books dealing with the topic of Vimana aircraft please turn to the book column on the right where you might need to scroll up the page till the right topic is found.

Polynesian traditions.

In the Polynesian Islands of the South Pacific we find yet more references to early flight. Here local legends talk of a fair skinned people who arrived from the west aboard "shining boats", that "flew above the sea"! Other island groups of the Pacific have similar legends of "flying canoes" that bring with them people from afar.

Evidence - What evidence?

To many the enormous bulk of this evidence is conclusive enough. Indeed the inescapable conclusion is that thousands of years ago a form of aviation did once exist. A form of transport that enabled people to travel to and fro about the world much like we do today! But if so, where are the remains of these machines? We hear no mention of them being found at archaeological sites, and presumably if they had existed we should have found some trace of them?

Age of Atlantis.

The answer to this is that many of these machines were extant during the pre-catastrophe era. This was the age of Atlantis - a time, that like our own was reputed to have attained a high level of technological achievement. Then came the massive disaster that wiped it all away. If things like jet planes had existed in those times they would have been completely obliterated. Any surviving remains would have rusted and decayed. In time there would be no evidence they had ever existed. None that is except for a few artifacts from a much later culture, and written records that bore witness to this amazing era of prehistoric aviation.

Did Atlantis really exist?



The mention of airplanes is found many times throughout Vedic literature, including the following verse from the Yujur-Veda describing the movement of such machines:

"O royal skilled engineer, construct sea-boats, propelled on water by our experts, and airplanes, moving and flying upward, after the clouds that reside in the mid-region, that fly as the boats move on the sea, that fly high over and below the watery clouds. Be thou, thereby, prosperous in this world created by the Omnipresent God, and flier in both air and lightening." Yajur Veda, 10.19) (Please refer to the Chapter ' Advanced Concept in Hinduism)

The Rg Veda, the oldest document of the human race includes references to the following modes of transportation:

Jalayan - a vehicle designed to operate in air and water. (Rig Veda 6.58.3)
Kaara- Kaara- Kaara- Kaara-
a vehicle that operates on ground and in water. (Rig Veda 9.14.1)
Tritala- Tritala- Tritala- Tritala-
a vehicle consisting of three stories. (Rig Veda 3.14.1)
Trichakra Ratha - Trichakra Ratha - Trichakra Ratha - Trichakra Ratha -
a three-wheeled vehicle designed to operate in the air. (Rig Veda 4.36.1)
Vaayu Ratha- Vaayu Ratha- Vaayu Ratha- Vaayu Ratha-
a gas or wind-powered chariot. (Rig Veda 5.41.6)
Vidyut Ratha- Vidyut Ratha- Vidyut Ratha- Vidyut Ratha-
a vehicle that operates on power. (Rig Veda 3.14.1).

Kathasaritsagara refers to highly talented woodworkers called Rajyadhara and Pranadhara. The former was so skilled in mechanical contrivances that he could make ocean crossing chariots. And the latter manufactured a flying chariot to carry a thousand passengers in the air. These chariots were stated to be as fast as thought itself. 

(source: India Through The Ages: History, Art Culture and Religion - By G. Kuppuram p. 532-533).

According to Dr. Vyacheslav Zaitsev: "the holy Indian Sages, the Ramayana for one, tell of "Two storied celestial chariots with many windows" "They roar like off into the sky until they appear like comets." The Mahabharata and various Sanskrit books describe at length these chariots, "powered by winged was a ship that soared into the air, flying to both the solar and stellar regions."

(source: Temples and Spaceships - By V. Zaitsev - Sputnik, Jan. 1967 and Hinduism in the Space Age - By E. Vedavyas p. 31-32).

For more refer to chapters on Sanskrit and War in Ancient IndiaAlso Refer to Vymanika Shashtra - Aeronautical Society of India.


Some Puranic accounts of Air-Chariots

The Arthasastra of Kautilya (c. 3rd century B.C.) mentions amongst various tradesmen and technocrats the Saubhikas as ' pilots conducting vehicles in the sky'. Saubha was the name of the aerial flying city of King Harishchandra and the form 'Saubika' means 'one who flies or knows the art of flying an aerial city.'  Kautilya uses another significant word 'Akasa Yodhinah', which has been translated as 'persons who are trained to fight from the sky.'  The existence of aerial chariots, in whatever form it might be, was so well-known that it found a place among the royal edicts of the Emperor Asoka which were executed during his reign from 256 B.C. - 237 B. C. The Vaimanika Shastra (Hindi edn) refers to about 97 works and authorities of yore of which at least 20 works deal with the mechanism of aerial Flying Machine, but none of these works is now traceable. The  Yuktikalpataru of Bhoja includes a reference to aerial cars in verses 48-50 and a manuscript of the work belonging to the Calcutta Sanskrit College dated at 1870 A.D. We are thus in possession of some manuscript material and from the above it appears that there were Vimanas or aircrafts in ancient India and they followed the route over the western sea i.e. Arabian Sea - Africa - Atlantic ocean - Latin America//Mexico, this being the shortest route. Some ships also might have followed this route, but most of the cargo ships, however, had to follow the longer route over the Pacific ovean via Indonesia - Polynesia - Latin America/Mexico because of the favorable trade winds and the equatorial currents which made the navigation easier.

And if the ancient Indians could perhaps boast of some form of air travel the Nazca lines of Peru acquire an added significance. Not only the scriptural references of aircrafts and the routes of navigation, even some base landing sites might have possibly been found in the tangled outlines and figures in the Pampas of Nazca. Maria Reiche, a German scientist, through her life-long dedication studied these seriously, preserved them from destruction and publicised them before the world. The huge figures which are visible from the sky might have helped the ancient pilots (Sauvikas) of India to land in Peru. 

(For more information please refer to Chapters on Pacific, Suvarnabhumi, War in Ancient India, Hindu Scriptures and Seafaring in Ancient India). 

The Nazca lines of Peru seem to be landing signal for the air chariots of pre-Colobian times. There are several references in Sanskrit texts about the Indian Vimanas carrying kings and dignitaries to pataldesa. Ramayana describes Ravana's flight from Varunalaya (Borneo) to Rasatala (Peru). 

Prof. D. K. Kanjilal analyses the legend of the Matsya Purana (chapters 129) in his Vimana in Ancient India in the following words:

"Behind the veil of legend and scientific truth comes out that three flying-cities were made for and were used by the demons. Of these three, one was in a stationary orbit in the sky, another moving in the sky and one was permanently stationed in the ground. These were docked like modern spaceships in the sky at particular time and at fixed latitude/longitudes. Siva's arrow obviously referred to a blazing missile fired from a flying satellite specially built for the purpose and the brunt spaceship fell in the Indian ocean. Vestiges of onetime prosperous civilization destroyed in battles only flicker through these legends. 

These references sharply point to the use of some kind of aerial flying vehicles known as Vimana apart from mechanical contrivances, armoured cars, various types of missiles etc. These references sounding queer and unscientific even in recent past have been approximated to the present-day technology through the innovation of highly sophisticated weapons and of the space-satellites like Mariner, Vostok, Soyuz, Aryabhatta etc. These facts require more than a passing notice.

The flying vehicles were firstly designated Ratha (vehicle or carriage) in the Rig Veda.

Vimanas possessed a very high speed. This aerial vehicle was triangular, large, 3-tier uneven and was piloted by at least three persons (tribandhura). It has three wheels which were probably withdrawn during aerial flight. In one verse the chariot is said to have three columns. It was generally made of anyone of the three kinds of metals, gold, silver or iron but the metal which usually went into its make up according to the Vedic text was gold. It looked beautiful. Long nails or rivets were attached to it. The chariot had three types of fuel. Possessing very fast speed, it moved like a bird in the sky soaring towards the Sun and the Moon and used to come down to the earth with great sound. 

(source: The Indians And The Amerindians - By Dr. S. Chakravarti p.141-146). Also Refer to Vymanika Shashtra - Aeronautical Society of India.


References from Ancient Literature

According to Professor Dileep Kumar Kanjilal in his book, Vimana in Ancient India:

In addition to the Vaimanika Shashtra, the Samarangana Sutradhara and the Yuktikalpataru of Bhoja, there are about 150 verses of the Rig Veda, Yajurveda and the Atharvaveda, a lot of literary passages belonging to the Ramayana, the Mahabharata, the Puranas, the Bhagavata and the Raghuvamsa and some references of the darma Abhijnanasakuntalam of Kalidasa, the Abimaraka of Bhasa, the Jatalas. the Avadhana Literature and of the Kathasaritsagara and a number of literary works contained either references to graphic aerial flight or to the mechanism of the aerial vehicles used in old ages in India.

In the Ramayana both the words "Vimana" and "Ratha" have been used:

·         Kamagam ratham asthaya...nadanadipatim (3. 35. 6-7). He boarded the aerial vehicle with Khara which was decorated with jewels and the faces of demons and it moved with noise resembling the sonorous clouds.

·         You may go to your desired place after enticing Sita and I shall bring her to Lanka by air.. So Ravana and Maricha boarded the aerial vehicle resembling a palace (Vimana) from that hermitage.

·         Then the demoness brought the Puspaka aerial vehicle and placed Sita on it by bringing her from the Ashoka forest and she was made to see the battle field with Trijata.

·         This aerial vehicle marked with Swan soared into the sky with loud noise.

Reference to Flying vehicles as Vimana occur in the Mahabharata in about 41 places of which the air attack of Salva on Krisna's capital Dwaraka deserve special notice. The Asura king Salva had an aerial flying machine known as Saubha-pura in which he came to attack Dwaraka. He began to shower hails, and missiles from the sky. As Krishna chased him he went near the sea and landed in the high seas. Then he came back again with his flying machine and gave a tough fight to Krishna staying about one Krosa (about 4,000 ft) above the ground level. Krishna at last threw a powerful ground-to-air weapon which hit the plane in the middle and broke it into pieces. The damaged flying machine fell into the seas. This vivid description of the air attack occurs in the Bhagavata also. We also come across the following references to missiles, armaments, sophisticated war-machines and mechanical contrivances as well as to Vimanas in Mahabharata. 

(For more refer to chapter on Dwaraka).

The inscriptions of emperor Asoka are by far the most authentic records in support of the existence of aerial flying vehicles which are mentioned as Vimana. The existence of aerial chariots in whatever form it might be was so well-known that it found a place among the royal edicts of the Emperor Asoka which were executed during his reign from 256 B.C.- 237 B.C. 

Vatsyana in his Kama Sutra referred to mechanical contrivances in their origin among 64 ancilliary Sciences. 

The Arthasastra of Kautilya (3rd century B.C), a treatise mainly dealing with political economy but containing information on kindred scientific topics refers to a class of mechanic known as Saubhika..."

A discussion regarding the existence of and the use of flying vehicles in ancient India naturally waits for an advanced state of knowledge in cosmogony. A close and careful study of the Vedic literature shows that it was not just a collection of primeval poetry but a varied literature of a powerful and dynamic society where the people had the knowledge of cloud and vapor, of the season and of the monsoon, of the different types of wind, of the expanse of the sky, of the strength of the wind blowing at high speed and so on. Three types of cloud have been referred to in the Rig Veda (1.101.4). which also states that smoke and vapor surcharged with water turn into cloud. Formation of vapor through heat and the subsequent formation of cloud has been referred to in the Vedas. Indian meteorological concepts thus date back to the age of the Rig Veda. 

Dileep Kumar Kanjilal concludes that: "With the passage of time and due to various changes of catastrophes the machines went out of use so that the secrets of its make-up and flying were equally lost. That the discontinuity of technical knowledge of a particular science within the known period of history is not an impossible factor has been shown by the inability to explore the nature of the rustless iron of the pillar of Chandraketu now fixed in Delhi. Hiuentzang, the Chinese pilgrim in the 7th century A.D. referred to 7 story palaces of which no evidence now remains. Sir P. C. Roy had shown that during the period from 1509 B.C. up to the end of the 3rd century B.C.E. methods for the large scale production of metals like gold, silver, copper, iron, tin, lead and mercury and of alloys like brass, bronze, and those of gold and silver with baser materials were known. Large varieties of mineral ores, gems, and precious stones have been described in detail by Kautilya. Knowledge of the fermentation process also reached a fairly advanced state. With a highly developed state of civilization flourishing in art, culture, literature, history, medicine, alchemy, chemistry, physics, mathematics, astronomy, and astrology, geology, trade, commerce, shipbuilding, and agriculture it is natural to think that some sort of flying vehicles as attested by literary references was in all probability known. From the time of Panini upto the time of Bhoja we come across references to the great universities of Taxila, Valabhi, Dhar, Ujjain and Visala etc. The annals of history inform us that the depredations of the foreign tribes began as early as the 2nd century A.D. From two centuries later came succeeding waves of attacks of other foreign hordes like the Arabs, Turks and Afghans. All the well known universities and other centers of learning like the temples, the Viharas and the Bhandaras containing books and other priceless treasures of the Indian heritage had to stand the fire and fury of the marauders. In the dark firmament of devastation and uncertainty a silver lining was, however, seen in the efforts of King Bhoja in the 12th century, when he tried to compile the Sanskrit texts. Glimpses of old heritage survived only in the memory of the people and in stray literary evidences. State patronization for Indian Hindu cultural enterprises in the Turk-Afghan/Islamic period was a misnomer."

The original designation of the flying machine was "Ratha" which gave way for the term "Vimana". The Samarangana Sutradhara unequivocally suggested that the design of the plane was imitated to construct palaces. It was built by the Rbhus for the Gods. Gods as pointed out by Sayana came from remote space in the sky above and the obvious conclusion is that Gods as newcomers on the earth from outer space brought in this technology. The texts of the Rig Veda ranging from the 1st-10th Manadal refers to aerial flying machines as Ratha. In the Yajurveda which is considered chronologically later than the Rg Veda followed by other Brahmanas, the name "Vimanas" occurs. These vehicles were multi-shaped. But the triangular or quadrangular pattern survived owing to their practical utility. Puspaka the aerial vehicel survived in use because of its practical usefulness. In the Vedic texts the configuration of the machines has been broadly shown as triangular. The inside area as it can be gathered from the text was about 9 ft X 9 ft. = 81 sq. ft capable of accommodating 7/8 persons. In a triangular

delta wing type this can be easily be made conical to give it greater feasibility and maneuverability. 

The descriptions of the flying aerial cities in the Mahabharata seem to indicate a higher degree of scientific achievement and technical skill as the flying cities moved high up above the region of the clouds and very probably in the exosphere region. We have earliest temple design in a seal of the Harmika-sira temple built by King Hubiska at Buddha Gaya of the 1st century B.C.E. which is a rectangular based conical construction. The Virupaksa Temple of Pattakada, of 740 A.D. has a long rectangular base developed into a tapering square or hectagonal construction upwards imitate the Trivistapa type. The overall structural similarity of the temples with a modern helicopter gives overt cognizance to the Samarangana Sutradhara  that temples were designed after the models of the flying machines. Even the giant Konaraka temple which resembles the chariot of Surya (Sun God) was of octagonal pattern on large rectangular base measuring 100 ft X 100 ft. X 100 ft. "

(source: Vimana in Ancient India - By Dileep Kumar Kanjilal  Sanskrit Pustak Bhandar Calcutta 1985 p. 11-99). For more information, refer to chapter on Hindu Culture).

For more refer to chapters on Sanskrit and War in Ancient IndiaAlso Refer to Vymanika Shashtra - Aeronautical Society of India.


Here is a survey of some fascinating articles and quotes:

"One time while King Citaketu was traveling in outer space on a brilliantly effulgent airplane given to him by Lord Vishnu, he saw Lord Siva..." "The arrows released by Lord Siva appeared like fiery beams emanating from the sun globe and covered the three residential airplanes, which could then no longer be seen."

Srimad Bhagavatam, Sixth Canto, Part 3

"The so-called ‘Rama Empire’ of Northern India and Pakistan developed at least fifteen thousand years ago on the Indian sub-continent and was a nation of many large, sophisticated cities, many of which are still to be found in the deserts of Pakistan, northern, and western India. Rama...was ruled by ‘enlightened Priest-Kings’ who governed the cities. The seven greatest capital cities of Rama were known in classical Hindu texts as ‘The Seven Rishi Cities’. According to ancient Indian texts, the people had flying machines which were called ‘vimanas’. The ancient Indian epic describes a vimana as a double- deck, circular aircraft with portholes and a dome, much as we would imagine a flying saucer. It flew with the "speed of the wind" and gave forth a ‘melodious sound’. There were at least four different types of vimanas; some saucer shaped, others like long cylinders (‘cigar shaped airships’)." 

(source: D. Hatcher Childress, "Ancient Indian Aircraft Technology" In The Anti-Gravity Handbook )

" An aerial chariot, the Pushpaka, conveys many people to the capital of Ayodhya. The sky is full of stupendous flying-machines, dark as night,but picked out by lights with a yellowish glare."

Mahavira of Bhavabhuti (A Jain text of the eighth century culled from older texts and traditions)

"The Vedas, ancient Hindu poems, thought to be the oldest of all the Indian texts, describe vimanas of various shapes and sizes: the ‘ahnihotra-vimana’ with two engines, the ‘elephant-vimana’ with more engines, and other types named after the kingfisher, ibis and other animals." 

(source: D. Hatcher Childress, "Ancient Indian Aircraft Technology" In The Anti-Gravity Handbook )

"Now Vata’s chariot’s greatness! Breaking goes it, And Thunderous is its noise, To heaven it touches, Makes light lurid [a red fiery glare], and whirls dust upon the earth."

Rig-Veda (Vata is the Aryan god of wind.)
In the Vedic literature of India, there are many descriptions of flying machines that are generally called vimanas. These fall into two categories: (1) manmade craft that resemble airplanes and fly with the aid of birdlike wings, and (2) unstreamlined structures that fly in a mysterious manner and are generally not made by human beings. The machines in category (1) are described mainly in medieval, secular Sanskrit works dealing with architecture, automata, military siege engines, and other mechanical contrivances. Those in category (2) are described in ancient works such as the Rg Veda, the Mahabharata, the Ramayana, and the Puranas, and they have many features reminiscent of UFOs." "There are ancient Indian accounts of manmade wooden vehicles that flew with wings in the manner of modern airplanes. Although these wooden vehicles were also called vimanas, most vimanas were not at all like airplanes. The more typical vimanas had flight characteristics resembling those reported for UFOs, and the being associated with them were said to possess powers similar to those presently ascribed to UFO entities. An interesting example of a vimana is the flying machine which Salva, an ancient Indian king, acquired from Maya Danava, an inhabitant of a planetary system called Taltala."

Richard L. Thompson, Alien Identities

"The cruel Salva had come mounted on the Saubha chariot that can go anywhere, and from it he killed many valiant Vrishni youths and evilly devastated all the city parks."

The Mahabharata

There is this account by the hero Krishna that is suggestive of more modern weapons. As he takes to the skies in pursuit of Salva: "His Saubha clung to the sky at a league’s length...He threw at me rockets, missiles, spears, spikes, battle-axes, three-bladed javelins, flame-throwers, without pausing....The sky...seemed to hold a hundred suns, a hundred moons...and a hundred myriad stars. Neither day nor night could be made out, or the points of compass."

"The airplane occupied by Salva was very mysterious. It was so extraordinary that sometimes many airplanes would appear to be in the sky, and sometimes there were apparently none. Sometimes the plane was visible and sometimes not visible, and the warriors of the Yadu dynasty were puzzled about the whereabouts of the peculiar airplane. Sometimes they would see the airplane on the ground, sometimes flying in the sky, sometimes resting on the peak of a hill and sometimes floating on the water. The wonderful airplane flew in the sky like a whirling firebrand - it was not steady even for a moment."

Bhaktivedanta, Swami Prabhupada, Krsna


India had a Superior Civilization 

India may have had a superior civilization with possible contacts with extraterrestrial visitors, and the flying devices called 'Vimanas' described in ancient Indian texts may underline their possible connections with today's aerospace technology, an Italian scientist told the World Space Conference here today. Dr. Roberto Pinotti asked the delegates to examine in detail the Hindu texts instead of dismissing 'all the Vimana descriptions and traditions as mere myth.' "The importance of such studies and investigations could prove to be shocking for today's man because the existence of flying devices beyond mythology can only be explained with a forgotten superior civilization on earth," he said. Pointing out that Indian Gods and heroes fought in the skies using piloted vehicles with terrible weapons.
        Dr. Pinotti said they were similar to modern jet propelled flying machines. 32 secrets: He said certain descriptions of the Vimanas seemed 'too detailed and technical in nature to be labeled as myth.' He cited various texts to show there were 32 secrets relating to the operation of Vimanas, some of which could be compared to modern day use of radar, solar energy and photography. Quoting from 'Vymanika Shastra' he said the ancient flying devices of India were made from special heat absorbing metals named 'Somaka, Soundalike and Mourthwika.' He said the text also discussed the seven kinds of mirror and lenses installed aboard for defensive and offensive uses. The so-called 'Pinjula Mirror' offered a sort of 'visual shield' preventing the pilots from being blinded by 'evil rays' and the weapon 'Marika' used to shoot enemy aircraft 'does not seem too different from what we today called laser technology,' he said.

According to the Italian expert, the 'principles of Page 1 propulsion as far as the descriptions were concerned, might be defined as electrical and chemical but solar energy was also involved. For instance, the 'Tripura Vimana' mentioned in 'Vymanika Shastra' was a large craft operated by 'motive power generated by solar rays,' Dr. Pinotti said, adding 'its elongated form was surely much closer to that of a modern blimp.' Sophisticated design: According to Dr. Pinotti, the huge 'Shakuna Vimana' described in the text 'might be defined as a cross between a plane and a rocket of our times and its design might remind one of today's space shuttle.' 'Surely, it expresses the most complex and sophisticated aeronautical design among all the other descriptions of Vimanas mentioned in the 'Vymanika Shastra,' he said.

He described the author of the treatise 'Vymanika Shastra' as a man 'attempting to explain an advanced technology.' Dr. Pinotti, who has made an exhaustive study of the history of Indian astronautics, said another text, Samaraanganasutraadhaara had 230 stanzas devoted to the principles of building Vimanas and their use in peace and war. He said ancient Aryans knew the use of the element 'fire' as could be seen from their 'Astra' weapons that included Soposamhara (flame belching missile), Prasvapna (which caused sleep) and four kinds of Agni Astras that traveled in sheets of flame and produced thunder. He said the car that was supposed to go up to Suryamandal (solar system) and the Naksatramandala (stellar system) cannot be dismissed as a myth because of the 'technical nature' of its description. Dr. Pinotti said depictions of space travel, total destruction by incredible weapons and the fact that Vimanas resembled modern unidentified flying objects would suggest that India had a 'superior but forgotten civilization.' 'In the light of this, we think it will be better to examine the Hindu texts' and subject the descriptive models of Vimanas to more scientific scrutiny,' he said.-  Jerry W. Decker.........Ron Barker...........Chuck Henderson - Vangard Sciences/KeelyNet


Ancient Writings tell of UFO visit in 4,000 B.C.
Contributed by John Burrows

India, according to Dr.V. Raghavan, retired head of the Sanskrit department of India`s pretigious University of Madras, was alone in playing host to extraterrestrials in prehistory. Dr. Raghavan contends that centuries-old documents in Sanskrit (the classical language of India and Hinduism) prove that aliens from outer space visited his nation. "Fifty years of researching this ancient works convinces me that there are livings beings on other planets, and that they visited earth as far back as4,000 B.C., " The scholar says. "There is a just a mass of fascinating information about flying machines, even fantastic science fiction weapons, that can be found in translations of the Vedas (scriptures), Indian epics, and other ancient Sanskrit text. "In the Mahabharata (writings), there is notion of divine lighting and ray weapons, even a kind of hypnotic weapon. And in the Ramayana (writings), there is a description of Vimanas, or flying machines, that navigated at great heights with the aid of quicksilver and a great propulsive wind. "These were space vehicles similar to the so-called flying saucers reported throughout the world today.

The Ramayana even describes a beautiful chariot which 'arrived shining, a wonderful divine car that sped through the air'. In another passage, there is mention of a chariot being seen 'sailing overhead like a moon.' "The references in the Mahabharata are no less astounding: `


At Rama`s behest, the magnificent  chariot rose up to a mountain of cloud with a tremendous din.` Another passage reads: `Bhima flew with his Vimana on an enormous ray which was as brilliant as the sun and made a noise like the thunder of a storm." In the ancient Vymanka-Shastra (science of aeronautics), there is a description of a Vimana: "An apparatus which can go by its own force, from one place to place or globe to globe." Dr. Raghavan points out, "The text`s revelations become even more astounding. Thirty-one parts-of which the machine consists-are described, including a photographing mirror underneath. The text also enumerates 16 kinds of metal that are needed to construct the flying vehicle: `Metals suitable, lighare 16 kinds. `But only three of them are known to us today. The rest remain untranslatable." Another authority who agrees with Dr. Raghavan`s interpretations is Dr. A.V. Krishna Murty, professor of aeronautics at the Indian Institute of Science in Bangalore. "It is true," Dr. Krishna Murty says, "that the ancient Indian Vedas and other text refer to aeronautics, spaceships, flying machines, ancient astronauts. "A study of the Sanskrit texts has convinced me that ancient India did know the secret of building flying machines-and that those machines were patterned after spaceships coming from other planets."

The Vedic traditions of India tell us that we are now in the Fourth Age of mankind. The Vedas call them the "The Golden Age", "The Silver Age", and "The Bronze Age" and we are now, according to their scriptures in the "The Iron Age". As we approach the end of the 20th century both Native Americans, Mayans, and Incans, prophecies claim that we are coming to the end of an age. Sanskrit texts are filled with references to Gods who fought battles in the sky using Vihmanas equipped with weapons as deadly as any we can deploy in these more enlightened times.

For example, there is a passage in the Ramayana which reads:

The Puspaka car that resembles the Sun and belongs to my brother was brought by the powerful Ravan; that aerial and excellent car going everywhere at will.... that car resembling a bright cloud in the sky.".. and the King [Rama] got in, and the excellent car at the command of the Raghira, rose up into the higher atmosphere."

In the Mahabharata, an ancient Indian poem of enormous length, we learn that an individual named Asura Maya had a Vimana measuring twelve cubits in circumference, with four strong wheels. The poem is a veritable gold mine of information relating to conflicts between gods who settled their differences apparently using weapons as lethal as the ones we are capable of deploying.

Apart from 'blazing missiles', the poem records the use of other deadly weapons. 'Indra's Dart' operated via a circular 'reflector'. When switched on, it produced a 'shaft of light' which, when focused on any target, immediately 'consumed it with its power'. In one particular exchange, the hero, Krishna, is pursuing his enemy, Salva, in the sky, when Salva's Vimana, the Saubha is made invisiblein some way. Undeterred, Krishna immediately fires off a special weapon: 'I quickly laid on an arrow, which killed by seeking out sound'.

  Many other terrible weapons are described, quite matter of factly, in the Mahabharata, but the most fearsome of all is the one used against the Vrishis. The narrative records:

Gurkha flying in his swift and powerful Vimana hurled against the three cities of the Vrishis and Andhakas a single projectile charged with all the power of the Universe. An incandescent column of smoke and fire, as brilliant as ten thousands suns, rose in all its splendor. It was the unknown weapon, the Iron Thunderbolt, a gigantic messenger of death which reduced to ashesthe entire race of the Vrishnis and Andhakas.

It is important to note, that these kinds of records are not isolated. They can be cross-correlated with similar reports in other ancient civilizations.

The after-affects of this Iron Thunderbolt have anonymously recognizable ring. Apparently, those killed by it were so burnt that their corpses were unidentifiable. The survivors fared little ether, as it caused their hair and nails to fall out. Perhaps the most disturbing and challenging, information about these allegedly mythical Vimanas in the ancient records is that there are some matter-of-fact records, describing how to build one. In their way, the instructions are quite precise. In the Sanskrit Samaraanganasutraadhaara it is written:  

Strong and durable must the body of the Vimana be made, like a great flying bird of light material. Inside one must put the mercury engine with its iron heating apparatus underneath. By means of the power latent in the mercury which sets the driving whirlwind in motion, a man sitting inside may travel a great distance in the sky. The movements of the Vimana are such that it can vertically ascend, vertically descend, move slanting forwards and backwards. With the help of the machines human beings can fly in the air and heavenly beings can come down to earth.

The Hakatha (Laws of the Babylonians) states quite unambiguously: The privilege of operating a flying machine is great. The knowledge of flight is among the most ancient of our inheritances. A gift from 'those from upon high'. We received it from them as a means of saving many lives.
More fantastic still is the information given in the ancient Chaldean work, The Sifrala, which contains over one hundred pages of technical details on building a flying machine. It contains words which translate as graphite rod, copper coils, crystal indicator, vibrating spheres, stable angles, etc. 'Ancient Indian Aircraft Technology' From The Anti-Gravity Handbook by D. Hatcher Childress.

Many researchers into the UFO enigma tend to overlook a very important fact. While it assumed that most flying saucers are of alien, or perhaps Governmental Military origin, another possible origin of UFOs is ancient India and Atlantis. What we know about ancient Indian flying vehicles comes from ancient Indian sources; written texts that have come down to us through the centuries. There is no doubt that most of these texts are authentic; many arethe well known ancient Indian Epics themselves, and there are literally hundreds of them. Most of them have not even been translated into English yet from the old sanskrit.

The Indian Emperor Ashoka started a "Secret Society of the Nine Unknown Men": great Indian scientists who were supposed to catalogue the many sciences. Ashoka kept their work secret because he was afraid that the advanced science catalogued by these men, culled from ancient Indian sources, would be used for the evil purpose of war, which Ashoka was strongly against, having beenconverted to Buddhism after defeating a rival army in a bloody battle. The"Nine Unknown Men" wrote a total of nine books, presumably one each. Book number was "The Secrets of Gravitation!" This book, known to historians, but not actually seen by them dealt chiefly with "gravity control." It is presumably still around somewhere, kept in a secret library in India, Tibet or else where (perhaps even in North America somewhere). One can certainly understand Ashoka's reasoning for wanting to keep such knowledge a secret, assuming it exists. Ashoka was also aware of devastating wars using such advanced vehicles and other "futuristic weapons" that had destroyed the ancient Indian "Rama  Empire" several thousand years before.
Only a few years ago, the Chinese discovered some Sanskrit documents in Lhasa, Tibet and sent them to the University of
Chandrigarh to be translated. Dr. Ruth Reyna of the University said recently that the documents contain directions for building interstellar spaceships! Their method of propulsion, she said, was "anti- gravitational" and was based upon a system analogous to that of "laghima," the unknown power of the ego existing in man's physiological makeup, "a centrifugal force strong enough tocounteract all gravitational pull."  According to Hindu Yogis, it is this "laghima" which enables a person to levitate. Dr. Reyna said that on board these machines, which were called "Astras" by the text, the ancient Indians could have sent a detachment of men onto any planet,according to the document, which is thought to be thousands of years old. Themanuscripts were also said to reveal the secret of "antima"; "the cap ofinvisibility" and "garima"; "how to become as heavy as a mountain of lead."Naturally, Indian scientists did not take the texts very seriously, but thenbecame more positive about the value of them when the Chinese announced that they were including certain parts of the data for study in their spaceprogram! This was one of the first instances of a government admitting to be researching anti-gravity. The manuscripts did not say definitely that interplanetary travel was evermade but did mention, of all things, a planned trip to the Moon, though it is not clear whether this trip was actually carried out.

However, one of the great Indian epics,the Ramayana, does have a highly detailed story in it of atrip to the moon in a Vihmana (or "Astra"), and in fact details a battle on themoon with an "Asvin" (or Atlantean") airship. This is but a small bit ofrecent evidence of anti-gravity and aerospace technology used by Indians. To really understand the technology, we must go much further back in time. The so-called "Rama Empire" of
Northern India and Pakistan developed at leastfifteen thousand years ago on the Indian subcontinent and was a nation of manylarge, sophisticated cities, many of which are still to be found in the deserts of Pakistan, northern, and western India. Rama existed, apparently, parallel to the Atlantean civilization in the mid- Atlantic Ocean, and wasruled by "enlightened Priest-Kings" who governed the cities.


The seven greatest capital cities of Rama were known in classical Hindu texts as The Seven Rishi Cities According to ancient Indian texts, the people had flying machines which were called "Vimanas." The ancient Indian epic describes a Vimana as a double deck, circular aircraft with portholes and a dome, much as we would imagine a flying saucer. It flew with the "speed of the wind" and gave forth a "melodious sound." There were at least four different types of Vimanas; some saucer shaped, others like long cylinders ("cigar shaped airships").

The ancient Indian texts on Vimanas are so numerous, it would take volumes to relate what they had to say. The ancient Indians, who manufactured these ships themselves, wrote entire flight manuals on the control of the various types of Vimanas, many of which are still in existence, and some have even been translated into English. The Samaraanganasutraadhaara is a scientific treatise dealing with every possible angle of air travel in a Vimana.

There are 230 stanzas dealing with the construction, take-off, cruising for thousand of miles, normal and forced landings, and even possible collisions with birds. In 1875, the Vaimanika Sastra, a fourth century B.C. text written by Bharadwaj the Wise, using even older texts as his source, was rediscovered in a temple in India. It dealt with the operation of Vimanas and included information on the steering, precautions for long flights, protection of the airships from storms and lightning and how to switch the drive to "solar energy" from a free energy source which sounds like "anti-gravity."

The Vaimanika Sastra (or Vymaanika-Shaastra) has eight chapters with diagrams, describing three types of aircraft, including apparatuses that could neither catch on fire nor break. It also mentions 31 essential parts of these vehicles and 16 materials from which they are constructed, which absorb light and heat; for which reason they were considered suitable for the construction of Vimanas. This document has been translated into English and is available by writing the publisher: 


VYMAANIDASHAASTRA AERONAUTICS by Maharishi Bharadwaaja, translated into English and edited, printed and published by Mr. G. R.Josyer, Mysore, India, 1979.

G. R. Josyer is the director of the International Academy of Sanskrit Investigation, located in Mysore. There seems to be no doubt that Vimanas were powered by some sort of "anti-gravity." Vimanas took off vertically, and were capable of hovering in the sky, like a modern helicopter or dirigible.

Bharadwaj the Wise refers to no less than seventy authorities and 10 experts of air travel in antiquity. These sources are now lost. Vimanas were kept in a Vimana Griha, a kind of hanger, and were sometimes said to be propelled by a yellowish-white liquid, and sometimes by some sort of mercury compound, though writers seem confused in this matter. It is most likely that the later writers on Vimanas, wrote as observers and from earlier texts, and were understandably confused on the principle of their propulsion. The "yellowish- white liquid" sounds suspiciously like gasoline, and perhaps Vimanas had a number of different propulsion sources, including combustion engines and even "pulse-jet" engines. It is interesting to note, that the Nazis developed the first practical pulse-jet engines for their V-8 rocket "buzz bombs."

Hitler and the Nazi staff were exceptionally interested in ancient India and Tibet and sent expeditions to both these places yearly, starting in the 30's, in order to gather esoteric evidence that they did so, and perhaps it was from these people that the Nazis gained some of their scientific information! According to the Dronaparva, part of the Mahabharata, and the Ramayana, one Vimana described was shaped like a sphere and born along at great speed on a mighty wind generated by mercury. It moved like a UFO, going up, down, backwards and forwards as the pilot desired. In another Indian source, the Samar, Vimanas were "iron machines, well-knit and smooth, with a charge of mercury that shot out of the back in the form of a roaring flame."

Another work called the Samaranganasutradhara describes how the vehicles were constructed. It is possible that mercury did have something to do with the propulsion, or more possibly, with the guidance system. Curiously, Soviet scientists have discovered what they call "age old instruments used in navigating cosmic vehicles" in caves in Turkestan
and the Gobi Desert. The "devices" are hemispherical objects of glass or porcelain, ending in a cone with a drop of mercury inside. It is evident that ancient Indians flew around in these vehicles, all over Asia, to Atlantis presumably; and even, apparently, to South America.

Writing found at Mohenjodaro in Pakistan (presumed to be one of the "Seven Rishi Cities of the Rama Empire" and still un deciphered, has also been found in one other place in the world: Easter Island! Writing on Easter Island, called Rongo-Rongo writing, is also un deciphered, and is uncannily similar to the Mohenjodaro script. Was Easter Island an air base for the Rama Empire's Vimana route? (At the Mohenjo- Daro Vimana-drome, as the passenger walks down the concourse, he hears the sweet, melodic sound of the announcer over the loud speaker," Rama Airways flight number seven for Bali, Easter Island, Nazca, and Atlantis is now ready for boarding. Passengers please proceed to gate number..") in Tibet, no small distance, and speaks of the "fiery chariot" thus: "Bhima flew along in his car, resplendent as the sun and loud as thunder... The flying chariot shone like a flame in the night sky of summer... it swept by like a comet... It was as if two suns were shining. Then the chariot rose up and all the heaven brightened." In the Mahavira of Bhavabhuti, a Jain text of the eighth century culled from older texts and traditions, we read: "An aerial chariot, the Pushpaka, conveysmany people to the capital of Ayodhya.

The sky is full of stupendousflying-machines, dark as night,but picked out by lights with a yellowishglare." The Vedas, ancient Hindu poems, thought to be the oldest of all theIndian texts, describe Vimanas of various shapes and sizes: the "ahnihotravimana" with two engines, the"elephant-vimana" with more engines, and other types named after the kingfisher, ibis and other animals. Unfortunately, Vimanas, like most scientific discoveries, were ultimately used for war. Atlanteans used their flying machines, "Vailixi," a similar type of aircraft, to literally try and subjugate the world, it would seem, if Indiantexts are to be believed.

The Atlanteans, known as "Asvins" in the Indian writings, were apparently even more advanced technologically than the Indians, and certainly of a more war-like temperament. Although no ancient texts on Atlantean Vailixi are known to exist, some information has come down through esoteric, "occult" sources which describe their flying machines. Similar, if not identical to Vimanas, Vailixi were generally "cigar shaped" and had the capability of manoeuvering underwater as well as in the atmosphere or even outer space. Other vehicles, like Vimanas, were saucer shaped, and could apparently also be submerged.

According to Eklal Kueshana, author of "The Ultimate Frontier," in an article he wrote in 1966: 

Vailixi were first developed in Atlantis 20,000 years ago, and the most common ones are "saucer shaped of generally trapezoidal cross- section with three hemispherical engine pods on the underside. They use a mechanical antigravity device driven by engines developing approximately 80,000 horse power. The Ramayana, Mahabharata and other texts speak of the hideous war that took place, some ten or twelve thousand years ago between Atlantis and Rama using weapons of destruction that could not be imagined by readers until the second half of this century.

The ancient Mahabharata, one of the sources on Vimanas, goes on to tell the awesome destructiveness of the war: "...(the weapon was) a single projectile charged with all the power of the Universe. An incandescent column of smoke and flame as bright as the thousand suns rose in all its splendor. An iron thunderbolt, a gigantic messenger of death, which reduced to ashes the entire race of the Vrishnis and the Andhakas. The corpses were so burned as to be unrecognizable. The hair and nails fell out; pottery broke without apparent cause, and the birds turned white.... after a few hours all foodstuffs were infected.... to escape from this fire, the soldiers threw themselves in streams to wash themselves and their equipment..."

It would seem that the Mahabharata is describing an atomic war! References like this one are not isolated; but battles, using a fantastic array of weapons and aerial vehicles are common in all the epic Indian books.   
One even describes a Vimana-Vailixbattle on the Moon! The above section very accurately describes what an atomic explosion would look like and the effects of the radioactivity on the population. Jumping into water is the only respite. When the Rishi City of Mohenjodaro was excavated by archaeologists in the last century, they found skeletons just lying in the streets, some of them holding hands, as if some great doom had suddenly overtaken them. These skeletons are among the most radioactive ever found, on a par with those found at Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Ancient cities whose brick and stonewalls have literally been vitrified, that is-fused together, can be found in India, Ireland, Scotland, France, Turkey and other places. There is no logical explanation for the vitrification of stone forts and cities, except from an atomic blast.
Further more, at Mohenjo-Daro, a well planned city laid on a grid, with a plumbing system superior to those used in Pakistan and India today, the streets were littered with "black lumps of glass." These globs of glass were discovered to be clay pots that had melted under intense heat! With the cataclysmic sinking of Atlantis and the wiping out of Rama with atomic weapons, the world collapsed into a "stone age" of sorts, and modern history picks up a few thousand years later Yet, it would seem that not all the Vimanas and Vailixi of Rama and Atlantis were gone. Built to last for thousands of years, many of them would still be in use, as evidenced by Ashoka's "Nine Unknown Men" and the Lhasa manuscript. 

That secret societies or "Brotherhoods" of exceptional, "enlightened" human beings would have preserved these inventions and the knowledge of science, history, etc., does not seem surprising. Many well known historical personages including Jesus, Buddah, Lao Tzu, Confucious, Krishna, Zoroaster, Mahavira, Quetzalcoatl, Akhenaton, Moses, and more recent inventors and of course many other people who will probably remain anonymous, were probably members of such a secret organization. It is interesting to note that when  Alexander the Great invaded India more than two thousand years ago, his historians chronicled that at one point they were attacked by "flying, fiery shields" that dove at his army and frightened the cavalry. These "flying saucers" did not use any atomic bombs or beam weapons on Alexander's army however, perhaps out of benevolence, and Alexander went on to conquer India. It has been suggested by many writers that these "Brotherhoods" keep some of their Vimanas and Vailixi in secret caverns in Tibet or some other place is Central Asia, and the Lop Nor Desert in western China is known to be the center of a great UFO mystery. Perhaps it is here that many of the airships are still kept, in underground bases much as the Americans, British and Soviets have built around the world in the past few decades. Still, not all UFO activity can be accounted for by old Vimanas making trips to the Moon for some reason. Unknown alloys have been revealed in the ancient palm leaf manuscripts.

The writer and Sanskrit scholar Subramanyam Iyer has spent many years of his life deciphering old collections of palm leaves found in the villages of his native Karnataka in southern India. One of the palm leaf manuscripts they intend to decipher is the Amsu Bodhini, which, according to an anonymous text of 1931, contains information about the planets; the different kinds of light, heat, color, and electromagnetic fields; the methods used to construct machines capable of attracting solar rays and, in turn, of analysing and separating their energy components; the possibility of conversing with people in remote places and sending messages by cable; and the manufacture of machines to transport people to other planets!

Contributed by John Burrows. 
Also Refer to Vymanika Shashtra - Aeronautical Society of India.


In one episode, for example, the Vrishnis, a tribe whose warriors include the hero Krishna, are beset by the forces of a leader named Salva.

"The cruel Salva had come mounted on the Saubha chariot that can go anywhere, and from it he killed many valiant Vrishni youths and evilly devastated all city parks." 

The Saubha is at once Salva's city, flagship, and battle headquarters. In it, he can fly wherever he chooses. Fortunately, the Vrishni heroes are similarly well equipped, and at one point have Salva at their mercy. The hero Pradyumna is about to finish him off with a special weapon, when the highest gods stop him "Not a man in battle is safe from this arrow," they say, and declare that Salva will fall to Krishna.

Krishna took to the sky in pursuit of Salva, but his Saubha clung to the sky at a leagues length... He threw at me rockets, missiles, spears, spikes, battleaxes, three-bladed javelins, flame-throwers, without pausing... The sky... seemed to hold a hundred suns, a hundred moons... and a hundred myriad stars. Neither day nor night could be made out, or the points of a compass.

Krishna, however, wards off Salva's attack with what sounds like antiballistic missiles; I warded them off as they loomed towards me
With my swift-striking shafts, as they flashed through the sky, And I cut them into two or three pieces with mine --
There was a great din in the sky above.

However, the Saubha becomes invisible. Krishna then loads a special weapon, perhaps an ancient version of a smart bomb? I quickly laid on an arrow, which killed by seeking out sound, to kill them... All the Danavas [Salva's troops] who had been screeching lay dead, killed by the blazing sun like arrows that were triggered by sound.

However, the Sauba itself escaped the attack. Krishna fires his "favorite fire weapon" at it, a discus shaped like the "haloed sun". The discus breaks the Saubha in two, and the city falls from the sky, killing Salva. This is the end of the Mahabharata.

One of the most intriguing thing about it is that the use of Pradyumna's special arrow, from which "not a man in battle is safe", was outlawed by the gods. What sort of weapon could this be? Another chapter, describing the use of the Agneya weapon by the hero Adwattan. When the weapon, a "blazing missile of smokeless fire" is unleashed;

Dense arrows of flame, like a great shower, issued forth upon creation, encompassing the enemy... A thick gloom swiftly settled upon the Pandava hosts. All points of the compass were lost in darkness. Fierce winds began to blow. Clouds roared upward, showering dust and gravel.
Birds coaked madly... the very elements seemed disturbed. The sun seemed to waver in the heavens. The earth shook, scorched by the terrible violent heat of this weapon. Elephants burst into flame and ran to and fro in a frenzy... over a vast area, other animals crumpled to the ground and died. From all points of the compass the arrows of flame rained continuously and fiercely.

And if that sounded like a firestorm, then a similar weapon fired by Gurkha sounds like nothing less than a nuclear blast complete with radioactive fallout;

Gurkha, flying in his swift and powerful Vimana, hurled against the three cities of the Vrishnis and Andhakas a single projectile charged with all the power of the universe. An incandescent column of smoke and fire, as brilliant as ten thousand suns, rose in all its splendor. It was the unknown weapon, the iron thunderbolt, a gigantic messenger of death which reduced to ashes the entire race of Vrishnis and Andhakas.

The corpses were so burnt they were no longer recognizable. Hair and nails fell out. Pottery broke without cause... Foodstuffs were poisoned. To escape, the warriors threw themselves in streams to wash themselves and their equipment.

The Indian Vimana -


Fly the Friendly skies in Air India Vimanas (excerpts)
By David Hatcher Childress
(source: Technology of the Gods: The Incredible Sciences of the Ancients  p 147-209)

Nearly every Hindu and Buddhist in the world  - hundreds of millions of people has heardd of the ancient flying machines referred to in the Ramayana and other texts as vimanas. Vimanas are mentioned even today in standard Indian literature and media reports. An article called “Flight Path” by the Indian journalist Mukul Sharma appeared in the major newspaper The Times of India on April 8, 1999 which talked about vimanas and ancient warfare: 

According to some interpretations of surviving texts, India’s future it seems happened way back in the past. Take the case of the Yantra Sarvasva, said to have been written by the sage Maharshi Bhardwaj.  

This consists of as many as 40 sections of which one, the Vaimanika Prakarana dealing with aeronautics, has 8 chapters, a hundred topics and 500 sutras.  

In it Bhardwaj describes vimana, or aerial aircrafts, as being of three classes: 

1.      those that travel from place to place;

2.      those that travel from one country to another;

3.      those that travel between planets. 

Of special concern among these were the military planes whose functions were delineated in some very considerable detail and which read today like something clean out of science fiction. For instance, they had to be: 

Impregnable, unbreakable, non-combustible and indestructible capable of coming to a dead stop in the twinkling of an eye; invisible to enemies; capable of listening to the conversations and sounds in hostile planes; technically proficient to see and record things, persons, incidents and situations going on inside enemy planes; know at every stage the direction of the movement of other aircraft in the vicinity; capable of rendering the enemy crew into a state of suspended animation, intellectual torpor or complete loss of consciousness; capable of destruction; manned by pilots and co-travelers who could adapt in accordance with the climate in which they moved; temperature regulated inside; constructed of very light and heat absorbing metals; provided with mechanisms that could enlarge or reduce images and enhance or diminish sounds. 

Notwithstanding the fact that such contraption would resemble a cross between an American state-of-the-art Stealth Fighter and a flying saucer, does it mean that air and space travel was well known to ancient Indians and aeroplanes flourished in India when the rest of the world was just learning the rudiments of agriculture?  Aerial battles and chases are common in ancient Hindu literature.  

What did these airships look like? The ancient Mahabharata speaks of a vimana as “an aerial chariot with the sides of iron and clad with wings.” The Ramayana describes a vimana as a double-deck, circular (cylindrical) aircraft with portholes and a dome. It flew with the “ speed of the wind”, and gave forth a “melodious sound”

The ancient Indians themselves wrote entire flight manuals on the care and control of various types of vimanas. The Samara Sutradhara is a scientific treatises dealing with every possible facet of air travel in a vimana. There are 230 stanzas dealing with construction, take-off, cruising for thousands of miles, normal and forced landings, and even possible collusions with birds! 

Would these texts exist (they do) without there being something to actually write about? Traditional historians and archaeologists simply ignore such writings as the imaginative ramblings of a bunch of stoned, ancient writers. 

Says Andrew Tomas, " The Samara Sutradhara, which is a factual type of record, treats air travel from every angle…If this is the science fiction of antiquity, then it is the best that has ever been written.”

In 1875, the Vaimanika Shastra, a fourth century BC text written by Maharshi Bhardwaj, was discovered in a temple in India. The book dealt with the operation of ancient vimanas and included information on steering, precautions for long flights, protection of the airships from storms and lightning, and how to switch the drive to solar energy, or some other “free energy” source, possibly some sort of “gravity drive.” Vimanas were said to take off vertically or dirigible. Bharadwaj the Wise refers to no less than 70 authorities and 10 experts of air travel in antiquity. These sources are now lost.

Vimanas were kept in Vimana Griha, or hanger, were said to be propelled by a yellowish-white-liquid, and were used for various purposes. Airships were present all over the world. The plain of Nazca in Peru is very famous for appearing from the high altitude to be a rather elaborate, if confusing airfield. Some researchers have theorized that this was some sort of Atlantean outpost.  It is worth nothing that Rama Empire had its outposts: Easter Island, almost diametrically opposite to Mohenjo-daro on the globe, astonishingly developed its own written language, an obscure script lost to the present inhabitants, but found on tablets and other carvings. This odd script is found in only one other place in the world: Mohenjo-Daro and Harappa. 



Aerial Warfare in Ancient India

The ancient Indian epics go into considerable detail about aerial warfare over 10,000 years ago. So much detail that a famous Oxford professor included a chapter on the subject in a book on ancient warfare!

According to the Sanskrit scholar V.R.Ramachandran Dikshitar, the Oxford Professor who wrote “War in Ancient India in 1944, “ No question can be more interesting in the present circumstances of the world than India’s contribution to the science of aeronautics. There are numerous illustrations in our vast Puranic and epic literature to show how well and wonderfully the ancient Indians conquered the air. To glibly characterized everything found in this literature as imaginary and summarily dismiss it as unreal has been the practice of both Western and Eastern scholars until very recently. The very idea indeed was ridiculed and people went so far as to assert that it was physically impossible for man to use flying machines. But today what with balloons, aeroplanes and other flying machines, a great change has come over our ideas on the subject.”

Says Dr. Dikshitar, “ …the flying vimana of Rama or Ravana was set down as but a dream of the mythographer till aeroplanes and zeppelins of the present century saw the light of day. The mohanastra or the “arrow of unconsciousness” of old was until very recently a creature of legend till we heard the other day of bombs discharging Poisonous gases.  We owe much to the energetic scientists and researchers who plod persistently and carry their torches deep down into the caves and excavations of old and dig out valid testimonials pointing to the misty antiquity of the wonderful creations of humanity.”

Dikshitar mentions that in Vedic literature, in one of the Brahmanas, occurs the concept of a ship that sails heavenwards. “The ship is the Agniliotra of which the Ahavaniya and Garhapatya fires represent the two sides bound heavenward, and the steersman is the Agnihotrin who offers milk to the three Agnis. Again, in the still earlier Rg Veda Samhita we read that the Asvins conveyed the rescued Bhujya safely by means of winged ships. The latter may refer to the aerial navigation in the earliest times.”

Commenting on the famous vimana text the Vimanika Shastra, he says:

“ In the recently published Samarangana Sutradhara of Bhoja, a whole chapter of about 230 stanzas is devoted to the principles of construction underlying the various flying machines and other engines used for military and other purposes. The various advantages of using machines, especially flying ones, are given elaborately. Special mention is made for their attacking visible as well as invisible objects, of their use at one’s will and pleasure, of their uninterrupted movements, of their strength and durability, in short of their capability to do in the air all that is done on earth. After enumerating and explaining a number of other advantages, the author concludes that even impossible things could be effected through them. Three movements are usually ascribed to these machines, ascending, cruising, thousands of miles in the atmosphere  and lastly descending. It is said that in an aerial car one can mount to the Surya-mandala, travel throughout the regions of air above the sea and the earth. These cars are said to move so fast as to make a noise that could be heard faintly from the ground. Still some writers have expressed a doubt and asked “Was that true?” But the evidence in its favor is overwhelming.


Has the World Ended Before?

Charles Berlitz, author of several books, including The Bermuda Triangle, was the grandson of the founder of the world-famous Berlitz schools, wrote:

"If atomic warfare were actually used in the distant past and not just imagined, there must still exist some indications of a civilization advanced enough to develop or even to know about atomic power. One does find in some of the ancient writings of India some descriptions of advanced scientific thinking which seemed anachronistic to the age from which they come.

The Jyotish (400 B. C) echoes the modern concept of the earth's place in the universe, the law of gravity, the kinetic nature of energy, and the theory of cosmic rays and also deals, in specialized but unmistakable vocabulary, with the theory of atomic rays. And what was thousands of years before the medieval theologians of Europe argued about the number of angels that could fit on the head of a pin. Indian philosophers of the Vaisesika school were discussing atomic theory, speculating about heat being the cause of molecular change, and calculating the period of time taken by an atom to traverse its own space. Readers of the Buddhist pali sutra and commentaries, who studied them before modern times, were frequently mystified by reference to the "tying together" of minute component parts of matter; although nowadays it is easy for a model reader to recognize an understandable description of molecular composition."

(source: Doomsday 1999 - By Charles Berlitz p. 123-124).


Flying machines in old Indian Sanskrit texts

By Professor Dr. Dileep Kumar Kanjilal gave a brilliant lecture with this title to the Sixth Congress of the Ancient Astronaut Society in Munich in 1979. Kanjilal is a professor at the Calcutta Sanskrit College and therefore a leading scholar in Sanskrit.

Pathways To The Gods: The Stones of Kiribati - By Erich Von Daniken p. 179-187). 

But if we follow the history of idolatry in India we come across two important works, the Kausitaki and the Satapatha Brahmana, dating from before 500 B.C. and telling us about images of the gods. Text and illustration show forcefully that the gods were originally corporeal beings. But how, and this question must be faced, did these gods reach the earth through the atmosphere? 

The Yujurveda quite clearly tells of a flying machine, which was used by the Asvins (two heavenly twins). The Vimana is simply a synonym for flying machine. It occurs in the Yajurveda, the Ramayana, the Mahabharata, the Bhagavata Purana, as well as in classical Indian literature.

At least 20 passages in the Rigveda (1028 hymns to the gods) refer exclusively to the flying vehicle of the Asvins. This flying machine is represented as three-storeyed, triangular and three –wheeled. It could carry at least three passengers. According to tradition the machine was made of gold, silver and iron, and had two wings. With this flying machine the Asvins saved King Bhujyu who was in distress at sea.  

Every scholar knows the Vaimanika Shastra, a collection of sketches the core of which is attributed to Bharatvaj the Wise around the 4th century B.C. The writings in the Vaimanika Shastra were rediscovered in 1875. The text deals with the size and the most important parts of the various flying machines. We learn how they steered, what special precautions had to be taken on long flights, how the machines could be protected against violent storms and lightning, how to make a forced landing and even how to switch the drive to solar energy to make the fuel go further. Bharatvaj refers to no fewer than 70 authorities and ten experts of Indian air travel in antiquity! 

The description of these machines in old Indian texts are amazingly precise. The difficulty we are faced with today is basically that the texts mention various metals and alloys which we cannot translate. We do not know what our ancestors understood by them. In the Amarangasutradhara five flying machines were originally built for the gods Brahma, Vishnu, Yama, Kuvera and Indra. Later there were some additions. Four main types of flying Vimanas are described: Rukma, Sundara, Tripura and Sakuna. The Rukma were conical in shape and dyed gold, whereas the Sundata were like rockets and had a silver sheen. The Tripura were three-storeyed and the Sakuna looked like birds. There were 113 subdivisions of these four main types that differed only in minor details. The position and functioning of the solar energy collectors are described in the Vaimanika Shastra. It says that eight tubes had to be made of special glass absorbing the sun’s ray. A whole series of details are listed, some of which we do not understand. The Amaranganasutradhara even explains the drive, the controls and the fuel for the flying machine. It says that quicksilver and ‘Rasa’ were used. Unfortunately we do not yet know what “Rasa’ was. Ten sections deal with uncannily topical themes such as pilot training, flight paths, the individual parts of flying machines, as well as clothing for pilots and passengers, and the food recommended for long flights. There was much technical detail: the metals used, heat-absorbing metals and their melting point, the propulsion units and various types of flying machines. The information about metals used in construction name three sorts, somala, soundaalika and mourthwika. If they were mixed in the right proportions, the result was 16 kinds of heat-absorbing metals with names like ushnambhara, ushnapaa, raajaamlatrit, etc. which cannot be translated into English. The texts also explained how to clean metals, the acids such as lemon or apple to be used and the correct mixture, the right oils to work with and the correct temperature for them. Seven types of engine are described with the special functions for which they are suited and the altitudes at which they work best. The catalogue is not short of data about the size of the machines, which had storeys, nor of their suitability for various purposes.

This text is recommended to all who doubt the existence of flying machines in antiquity. The mindless cry that there were no such things would have to fall silent in shame. 

The ruined sites of Parhaspur have been the scene of ‘divine’ air battles? Pyramids reminiscent of the Mayan pyramids in the Central American jungles in the center of Parhaspur.

In 1979 a book by David W. Davenport, an Englishman born in India, was published in Italy. Its title was 2000 AC Diztruzione Atomica, Atomic Destruction 2000. BC. Davenport claimed to have proof that Mohenjo Daro, one of the oldest cities in the history of human civilization, had been destroyed by an atomic bomb. Davenport shows that the ruined site known as the place of death by archaeologists was not formed by gradual decay. 

Originally Mohenjo Daro, which is more than 5000 years old, lay on two islands in the Indus. Within a radius of 1.5 km Davenport demonstrates three different degrees of devastation which spread from the center outwards. Enormous heat unleashed total destruction at the center. Thousands of lumps, christened ‘black stones’ by archaeologists, turned out to be fragments of clay vessels which had melted into each other in the extreme heat. The possibility of a volcanic eruption is excluded because there is no hardened lava or volcanic ash in or near Mohenjo Daro. Davenport assumed that the brief intensive heat reached 2000 degree C. It made the ceramic vessels melt.  

He further says that in the suburbs of Mohenjo Daro skeletons of people lying flat on the ground, often hand in hand were found, as if the living had been suddenly overcome by an unexpected catastrophe.  

In spite of the interdisciplinary possibilities, archaeology works solely by traditional methods in Mohenjo Daro. They ought to use the former, for it would produce results. If flying machines and a nuclear explosion as the cause of the ruins are excluded out of hand, there can be no research by enlarged teams with physicists, chemists, metallurgists, etc. As the iron curtain so often falls on sites that are important in the history of mankind, I cannot help feeling that surprising facts endangering existing ways of thinking might and should be discovered. A nuclear explosion 5000 years ago does not fit into the scenario?

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Chariots of The Gods

Erich Von Daniken author of the International Bestseller book, Chariots of The Gods, writes:

" For example, how did the chronicler of the Mahabharata know that a weapon capable of punishing a country with a twelve years' drought could exist? And powerful enough to kill the unborn in their mothers womb? This ancient Indian epic, the Mahabharata, is more comprehensive than the Bible, and even at a conservative estimate its original core is at least 5,000 years old. It is well worth reading this epic in the light of the present day knowledge

We shall not be surprised when we learn in the Ramayana that Vimanas, i.e. flying machines, navigated at great heights with the aid of quicksilver and a great propulsive wind. the Vimanas could cover vast, distances and could travel forward, upward and downward. Enviably maneuverable space vehicles!.

This quotation comes from the translation by N. Dutt in 1891: "At Rama's behest the magnificent chariot rose up to a mountain of cloud with a tremendous din.." We cannot help noticing that not only is a flying object mentioned again but also that the chronicler talks of a tremendous din.

Here is another passage from the Mahabharata: "Bhisma flew with his Vimana on an enormous ray which was as brilliant as the sun and made a noise like the thunder of a storm." ( C.Roy 1899).

Even imagination needs something to start off. How can the chronicler give descriptions that presuppose at least some idea of rockets and the knowledge that such a vehicle can ride on a ray and cause a terrifying thunder?

Certain numerical data in the Mahabharata are so precise that one gets the impression that the author was writing from first-hand knowledge. Full of repulsion, he describes a weapon that could kill all warriors who wore metal on their bodies. If the warriors learned about the effect of this weapon in time, they tore off all the metal equipment they were wearing, jumped into a river, and washed everything they were wearing, and everything they had come in contact with very thoroughly. Not without reason, as the author explains, for the weapons made the hair and nails fall out. Everything living, he bemoaned, became pale and weak.

The Mahabharata says: "Time is the seed of the Universe."

In the Samarangana Sutradhara whole chapters are devoted to describing airships whose tails spout fire and quicksilver.

A passage from the Mahabharata is bound to make us think:

"It was as if the elements had been unleashed. The sun spun round. Scorched by the incandescent heat of the weapon, the world reeled in fever. Elephants were set on fire by the heat and ran to and fro in a frenzy to seek protection from the terrible violence. The water boiled, the animals died, the enemy was mown down and the raging of the blaze made the trees collapse in rows as in a forest fire. The elephants made a fearful trumpeting and sank dead to the ground over a vast area. Horses and war chariots were burnt up and the scene looked like the aftermath of a conflagration. Thousands of chariots were destroyed, then deep silence descended on the sea. The winds, began to blow and the earth grew bright. It was a terrible sight to see. The corpses of the fallen were mutilated by the terrible heat so that they no longer looked like human beings. Never before have we seen such a ghastly weapon and never before have we heard of such a weapon. (C. Roy 1889).

(source: Chariots of The Gods - By Erich Von Daniken p. 56 - 60). For more on Mahabharata, refer to chapter on Hindu Scriputres, War in Ancient India and Yantras).

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Vymaanika Shaastra  Aeronautics of Maharshi Bharadwaaja - By G. R. Josyer (excerpts)

Rahasyagnyodhikaaree - Sutra 2.

"The pilot is one who knows the secrets"

Bodhaanada: Scientists say that there are 32 secrets of the working of the Vimaana. A pilot should acquaint himself thoroughly with them before he can be deemed competent to handle the aeroplane. He must know the structure of the aeroplane, know the means of its take off and ascent to the sky, know how to drive it and how to halt it when necessary, how to maneuver it and make it perform spectacular feats in the sky without crashing. Those secrets are given in "Rahashya Lahari" and other works by Lalla and other masters, are are described thus:

"The pilot should have had training in maantrica and taantrica, kritaka and antaraalaka, goodha or hidden, drishya and adrishya or seen and unseen, paroksha and aparoksha, contraction and expansion, changing shape, look frightening, look pleasing, become luminous or enveloped in darkness, deluge or pralaya, vimukha, taara, stun by thunderstorm din, jump, move zig-zag like serpent, chaapala, face all sides, hear distant sounds, take pictures, know enemy maneuver, know direction of enemy approach, stabdhaka or paralyse, and karshana or exercise magnetic pull.

These 32 secrets the pilot should learn from competent preceptors and only such a person is fit to be entrusted with an aeroplane, and not others.

Some of these secrets are:

1. Goodha: As explained in 'Vaayutatva-Prakarana', by harnessing the powers, Yaasaa, Viyaasaa, Prayaasaa in the 8th atmospheric layer covering the earth, to attract the dark content of the solar ray, and use it to hide the Vimana from the enemy.

2. Drishya: By collision of the electric power and wind power in the atmosphere, a glow is created, whose reflection is to be caught in the Vishwa-Kriya-drapana or mirror at the front of the Vimana, and by its manipulation produce a Maaya-Vimana or camouflaged Vimana.

3. Vimukha: As mentioned in "Rig-hridaya", by projecting the force of Kubera, Vimukha and Vyshawaanara poison powder through the third tube of the roudree mirror and turning the switch of the air mechanism, produce wholesale insensibility and coma.

4. Roopaakarshana: By means of the photographic yantra in the Vimana to obtain a television view of things inside an enemy's plane.

5. Stabdhak: By projecting apasmaara poison fume smoke through the tube on the north side on the Vimana, and discharging it with stambhana yantra, people in enemy planes will be made unconscious.

6. Chaapla: On sighting an enemy plane, by turning the switch in the force center in the middle section of the Vimana, a 4087 revolutions an hour atmospheric wave speed will be generated, and shake up the enemy plane.

7. Parashabda Graahaka: As explained in the "Sowdaaminee Kalaa: or science of electronics, by means of the sound capturing yantra in the Vimana, to hear the talks and sound in enemy planes flying in the sky.


According to Shownaka, the regions of the sky are 5, named, Rekhaapathaha, Mandala, Kakshaya, shakti and Kendra. In these 5 atmospheric regions, ther are 5,19,800 air ways traversed by Vimanas of the Seven Lokas or worlds, known as Bhooloka, Bhuvarloka, Suvarloka, Maholoka, Janoloka, Tapoloka and Satyaloka. Dhundinaatha and "Valalmeeki Ganita" state that Rekha has 7,03,00,800 air routes. Mandala has 20,08,00200 air routes, Kakshya has 2,09,00,300 air routes, Shakti has 10,01,300 air routes, and Kendra has 30,08,200 air routes.

It discusses what kind of food to eat, clothing to wear, metals for vimanas, purification of metals, deals with mirrors and lenses which are required to be installed in the vimaanas, mechanical contrivances or yantras and protecting and different types of vimaanas.

(source: Vymaanika Shaastra  Aeronautics of Maharshi Bharadwaaja - By G. R. Josyer International Academy of Sanskrit Research 1973).

Also Refer to Vymanika Shashtra - Aeronautical Society of India.