Whoa! This caught me by surprise!!
This object (shown in sketch) was found in 1898 in a tomb at Saqquara, Egypt and was later dated as having been created near 200 BCE. As airplanes were unknown in the days when it was found, it was thrown into a box marked “wooden bird model” and then stored in the basement of the Cairo museum.
It was rediscovered by Dr. Khalil Messiha, who studied models made by ancients. The “discovery” was considered so important by the Egyptian government that a special committee of leading scientists was established to study the object.
As a result of their findings, a special exhibit was set up in the center hall of the Cairo museum, with the little model as its centerpiece. It was even labelled as a model airplane.
To elucidate the reasons for the decision of the committee, almost unprecedented in the field of archeology, let’s consider some aspects of the model. The model has the exact proportions of a very advanced form of “pusher-glider” that is still having “some bugs ironed out”. This type of glider will stay in the air almost by itself—even a very small engine will keep it going at low speeds, as low as 45 to 65 mph., while it can carry an enormous payload. This ability is dependent on the curious shape of wings and their proportions. The tipping of wings downward, a reversedihedral wing as it is called, is the feature behind this capability. A similar type of curving wings are implemented on the Concorde airplane, giving the plane a maximum lift without detracting from its speed.
In that context, it seems rather incredible that someone, more than 2,000 years ago, for any reason, devised a model of a flying device with such advanced features, requiring quite extensive knowledge of aerodynamics. There were no such things as airplanes in these times, we are told by archeologists and historians. But this case seems to be an exception, living in the midst of the rather unimaginative and rigid paradigm of contemporary science. It is also necessary to point out that Egyptians are known to have nearly always made scale-models of projects and objects which they planned to create or build.
Precolombian Airplane Models
Is the concept of an airplane limited to Egypt? That doesn’t seem to be the case. Gold trinkets were found in an area covering Central America and coastal areas of South America, estimated to belong to a period between 500 and 800 CE, but since they are made from gold, accurate dating is impossible and based essentially on stratigraphy which may be deceptive. However, we can safely say that these gold objects are more than 1000 years old.
Whatever this object is supposed to be or represent,
its remarkable resemblance to a modern aircraft or spacecraft is uncanny.
As seen from the pictures, the shape of the sample object is rather ambiguous. The archaeologists labelled these objects as zoomorphic, meaning, animal shaped objects. The question is, what animal do they represent? When we compare these with other objects from the same cultures depicting animals, a curious facet of the comparison would be obvious: the other objects are recognizable, rendered usually with a great accuracy and attention to realistic detail.
There are several types of animals which fly—birds, insects, and several mammals, such as bats and some gliders, for instance flying squirrels, oppossums, and then there are some lizards; there are also some fish which for brief periods glide through the air. There are water animals which seem to fly through the water, such as rays, skates and some selachians. But how does the depicted object compare with these choices? All its features taken into a consideration, we have no match. Seen from above, the object obviously has no fish features, but seems to show rather explicitly mechanistic ones.
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