While in his cell [whilst incarcerated for embezzlement, fraud and forgery],
he claims, he experienced an intense vision.
Von Daniken won’t discuss the nature of the vision…
Erich Von Daniken, ancient astronaut alien fame (or, infamy)—was interviewed by Timothy Ferris; an interview you can find scanned from the original magazine here and yet, one that no one seems to have transcribed as of yet which is why we will provide much of the text within this series; previous segments part 1, part 2, part 3, part 4, part 5, part 6, part 7, part 8, part 9, part 10, part 11, part 12 and part 13.
No discussion of ancient nuclear weapons, ancient technologies or ancient aliens aka ancient astronauts is complete without dealing with Vimanas.
The (pseudo) History Channel show Ancient Aliens has claimed that references to Vimanas are found within, “Ancient Sanskrit texts dating back as far as 6,000 BC” which are notable for “describing vivid detail flying machines called Vimanas.”
Of course, in reality, as Chris White has noted, “the oldest of these texts would be the Vedas, which date to between 500-1500 BC”:
The word Vimana literally means “having been measured out.” It was related to the king’s palaces, and was referring to their intricate construction. Later on, as a result the word became synonymous with palaces in general. And because of that it was used to refer to the palaces of the gods as well.
And yes these palaces of the gods were in the heavens, and they could fly, but as we look into this it will be clear that some of the Vimanas of the gods really were huge palaces, with gardens and terraces and golden staircases.
Then, because the palaces of the gods flew, the word gradually became used for anything that could fly, either in mythology or in reality.
Vimanas are sometimes referred to, in the related literature, as anything from airplane powered by jet engines to spacecraft powered by some high tech power source. As Ancient Aliens put it, “Elephants ran away in panic; grass was thrown out because there was a lot of pressure from behind those Vimanas, so we can say that this was a description of spaceships.”
Note that, “almost everything that Ancient Aliens says about Vimanas comes from a totally bogus text called the Vimanika Shastra” which “is not an actual ancient text. It was channeled, or dictated, to the author from the spirit world in 1918”:
The spirit who supposedly dictated the text claimed to be and ancient seer named Bharadvada, who is prominent in some ancient writings, so I guess that is what is supposed to give this text credibility – that is, the idea that the ghost of someone ancient supposedly dictated it.
But they’re not even sure if that version of the story is true, because the first mention of any of this in in 1952 by the guy who supposedly found and translated this text from 1918, so as far as anyone knows he could have made the whole channeled by a famous ghost story up in 1952.
The text itself reads like a technical manual, describing the details of how Vimanas operated. It includes the description of what must have sounded like a really technical idea in 1918 or 1952 called a mercury-vortex engine… It even includes very technical drawings.
As Ancient Aliens put it, “The Vimanika Shastra, or science of aeronautics, indicates Vimanas used a propulsion system based on a combination of gyroscopes, electricity and mercury.”
Considering that the time frame ranges into the early 1950s; there is plenty of time for the author of the Vimanika Shastra to have become aware of Nazi experiments with a device known as the Bell. As elucidated by Jim Wilhelmsen (in his book Beyond Science Fiction!, pp. 49-50—see my review of the book here):
in Greek mythology…The symbol of Hermes staff shows a disk on either end of a central shaft, with two inter-twined serpents, with wings of flight above their heads. The intertwining could indicate the vortex principles understood by Victor Schauberger. The dual disks on the shaft representing the electro-magnetic energy generated from the mercury through a vortex implosion as symbolized by the intertwining serpents. The final result produced rapid flight, as represented by the wings. Although you might think this strange, this is the very methodology used which led to new technology the Nazis are claimed to have obtained by this unorthodox view of mythology…
evidence of an unusual use of mercury was discovered in April of 1944. The ill-fated submarine U-859 left Germany and was sunk off the straits of Malacca in Indonesia. This sub had a cargo of 33 tons of mercury! This was strange cargo in such a huge amount and being treated as an important military cargo! In 1944 mercury was used for thermometers and switches, with no known military purpose. Some sort of unconventional use can only explain this strange cargo…
Another curious note was the death of Jack Parsons. He was the American Rocket scientist who invented solid rocket fuel. He died in a fire while working with mercury. And yes, he was involved with occult societies that had Nazi connections during the war. There does seem to be more to Mercury than just switches, thermometers and mythology! This is only one small example of how the Nazis approached legends and myths and attempted to extract a physics from them.
Yet, in any regard, “in 1974, a study was done on the texts and the drawings by the Aeronautical and Mechanical Institute of Science in Bangalore, India (H.S. Mukunda, S.M. Deshpande, H.R. Nagendra, A. Prabhu, and S.P. Govindraju, “A critical study of the work ‘Vyamanika Shastra,’” Scientific Opinion, 1974, pp. 5-12). About this study Will Hunt, an American freelance writer based in India, wrote:
As thoroughly as it had been written, the committee just as thoroughly dismantled the study in an essay called A Critical Study of the Work Vymanika Shastra. They questioned whether the author (whoever that may have been) had any grasp of basic physics, chemistry and electricity, not to mention the “disciplines of aeronautics: aerodynamics, aeronautical structures, propulsive devices, materials, and metallurgy.” Their conclusion: “None of the planes has properties or capabilities of being flown; the geometries are unimaginably horrendous from the point of view of flying; and the principles of propulsion make them resist rather than assist flying.
Sacred Text Archive writer, JB Hare, also noted that they are, “absurdly non-aerodynamic…brutalist wedding cakes, with minarets, huge ornithopter wings and dinky propellers.”
In any regard, the fact is that Vimanas:
were not even mentioned in the earlier texts, and when they were finally mentioned, the next thousand years of their being mentioned always included them having wheels and being drawn by horses…Then, around 500 BC, the chariots lose their horses and are depicted as flying on their own.
Let us consider one actual reference to these mighty spaceships from Ramayana, Sundarakandam 9:
And the mighty monkey ascended the splendid car Pushpaka, containing figures of wolves,—made of Kart taswara and Hir anya; graced with ranges of goodly pillars; as if blazing in splendor; throughout garnished with narrow secret rooms and saloons, piercing the heavens, and resembling Meru or Mandara, and like unto the flaming Sun; skillfully reared by Vic wak arma; with golden staircases and graceful and grand raised seats, rows of golden and crystal windows, and daises composed of sapphires, emeralds and other superb gems; embellished with noble vid-rumas, costly stones, and round pearls, as also with plastered terraces; pasted with red sandal, like unto gold, and furnished with a sacred aroma; and resembling the sun new risen.
In other texts they are referred to as being filled with fruit trees and are not powered by jet engines or mercury vortexes but by geese.
Overall, we have a huge concoction of mistranslated contextual misinterpreted statements which are mixed and mashed into a theory which explains just about nothing at all except how some go about justifying their preferred theories.