The Sumerians, those mysterious children of the Uru, have passed on to us the Epic of Gilgamesh, King of the City of Uruk, translated from twelve clay tablets recovered from the library of the Assyrian King Assurbanipal, and written in Akkadian script in the third millennium BC. In the seventh tablet his friend Enkidu is said to have flown for hours held in the talons of a great eagle.
The eagle speaks to him: “Look down at the land. What does it look like? Look at the sea. How does it seem to you? Enkidu describes the land like a mountain and the sea a lake. Higher the eagle flies and another four hours later asks Enkidu to gaze on the land, and what does it look like; and Enkidu describes the earth as resembling a garden and the sea like the water channel of a gardener. Higher still the great eagle flew, and another four hours later he asks Enkidu to look down at the land and describe its appearance; and Enkidu says the land resembles porridge and the sea a water trough. As modern day astronauts will agree, the earth does indeed resemble a mixture of porridge and water troughs from outer space.
Could the great eagle have been symbolic of an ancient Sumerian hang glider flight and a tradition dating back to earlier Uruan times? Surely the above description of what the earth resembled from far out in space was a brilliant example of ancient inspired logic. The ninth tablet describes how Gilgamesh sets out on a long journey to find the gods, and Utnapishtim, “the Father of Men” in particular, who live beyond the great sea [Indian Ocean], in a land suggesting Australia, the home of the Uru. These men were indeed gods, for they were venerated as the “Fathers of Men”, the creators of the Sumerians.
The ancient Indian epic, the Ramayana, has a history dating back at least 5,000 years. Exploring this great work we find astounding accounts of the Vimanas, or flying machines, flown at great heights employing a fuel of quicksilver and powerful propulsive wind. These machines could, it is said, fly over vast distances, and also be manoeuvred upwards, downwards and forwards! The ancient Tibetan books Tantyua and Kantyua describe flying machines known as “pearls in the sky”, but both books are adamant that the information on their construction is to be kept secret from the masses.
About 1766 BC in Peking the Chinese Emperor, Cheng Tang is recorded as having ordered the inventor, Ki-Kung-Shi to design a flying chariot for him. Having completed the ‘chariot’ for his emperor, Ki-Kung-Shi is claimed to have flown this aircraft to the province of Honan. Yet the ‘chariot’ was afterwards destroyed on the Emperor’s orders, as Cheng Tang feared the secret of its mechanism might fall into enemy hands. This chronicle suggests that Ki-Kung-Shi worked from ‘blueprints’, but how he was able to create this flying craft remains a mystery.
In the 3rd century BC, the Chinese poet Chu Yuan described how he flew in a jade chariot at a high altitude over the Gobi Desert westward to the Kun Lun Mountains; and accurately described how his ‘chariot’ was unaffected by the dust and winds of the desert as he conducted an aerial survey!
The concept of the helicopter is not new. Early in the 4th century AD the chronicler Ko-Hung recorded the following: “Some have made flying cars with wood from the inner part of the jujube tree, using ox leather straps fastened to rotating blades to set the machine in motion”.
And in the Chinese book “Illustrated Survey of Weird Countries”, written in 1400 AD, there is mention of Ji Gung Land, where the people could make flying cars that traveled far with a suitable wind. It is also stated that in earlier times [1700 BC], Ji Gung people flying a car on a westerly course reached Yew Jo. This ‘car’ was afterwards dismantled so that it could not be demonstrated to the people. They later re-assembled their machine and flew home on an east wind to their own country some 5,000 km to the west!
The literature concerning manned flight in the dim past is too great to be related here, yet it reveals a progression of ancient thought, which commencing with the hang gliders of the Uruan ‘bird people’, led later civilisations on the path to Kittyhawk, and is now leading us to the stars.
Traditions of a race of “Bird People” who inhabited a great land to the south are to be found throughout southeast Asia. And legends of “Bird-Men” who leapt from great heights are to be found in New Guinea and throughout island Melanesia. The Trobriand Islanders, for example, believed that to the south of New Guinea lay ‘Pilolu’, the “Great South Land of people with wings and tails”; a probable confusion between the Uruan glider-flyers and the marsupial inhabitants of Australia.
In the course of several field investigations made since 1980 in New Zealand, to research evidence of pre-Polynesian colonization of these islands, Heather and I have uncovered a number of remarkable archaeological finds of the Uru.
During the course of our 1997 investigation, Heather and I visited Tauranga, in the Bay of Plenty district. While examining ancient rock scripts at the base of Mount Maunganui, a former mighty pre-Maori hill fort or Pa, which rises above the nearby town, I happened to spot a mud-encrusted fist-size lump of brown volcanic pumice protruding from the ground. Later cleaning revealed it to be a small “Bird-Man” carving.
Measuring 10cm tall by 5.5cm width at the base, the crudely carved figure has two eyes, a long beak, two wings and human-like feet in squatting position. Upon the back is engraved the Uruan inscription “Nim of the Sun”.