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  • Writer's pictureJ.P. Robinson

The Mysterious Quimbaya Aeroplanes

The following article is taken from the book The Myth Of Man by J.P. Robinson.

A grave site situated near the Magdalena River in Columbia was discovered during the early 20th century by opportunist tomb robbers who inadvertently stumbled upon the ancient location. Dating back to a civilization known as the Quimbaya from the Tolima region, 1,500 years ago in pre-Columbian times, the grave accommodated hundreds of funerary objects and among them were around a dozen small gold figurines two to three inches in size.

These particular objects, many of which were most likely meant to imitate insects and birds appear to resemble modern aircraft with features very close in appearance to aeroplane parts. This includes a fuselage, delta wings, horizontal stabilisers and what looks closer to a rudder or tail-fin than the natural tail of a bird or insect.

The tail-fin or vertical stabiliser, which is an essential component of any flying machine but is never found within nature, suggests that the creators of these artefacts may well have had more than the familiar creatures that surrounded them in the natural world for inspiration. Even the way that the wings of the figurines sit at the bottom of the body in complete opposition to how wings within nature’s flying creatures always attach to the top part of the body, is very unusual indeed.

Most propeller planes have the wings at the top of the fuselage but all modern jet engine planes have the wings attached to the bottom part, just as the Columbian pieces have. Such specific design details mirror perfectly those of all modern aircraft including the Concorde and even the space shuttle, leaving one to question whether this matching correspondence is the result of pure coincidence or deliberate design.

It is these anomalous features which seem to highlight the possibility that the Quimbaya were fully aware of the designs of modern aircraft and could well have understood the principles of flight despite the antiquity of the objects. Mainstream archaeology believes that the Quimbaya cultures lived in South America between 300 and 1550 AD, and were renowned for their precise gold and metalwork.

The majority of the gold pieces are said to have been made with a tumbaga alloy, a name given to an alloy consisting of a mixture of gold and copper by the Spaniards who discovered its widespread use right across pre-Columbian South America and Mesoamerica. Harder than copper but with a generous malleability, the alloy would have been easier to work with, especially due to the considerably lower melting point than copper and gold in their purest forms. The artefacts which consist of around 30% copper are not dissimilar from accounts of the red-hued orichalcum alloy mentioned in Plato’s Critias and Timeaus dialogues with regards to the lost city of Atlantis.

Orichalcum discovered on the sea bed near Sicily

Plato wrote in Critias, ‘In the first place, they dug out of the earth whatever was to be found there, solid as well as fusile, and that which is now only a name and was then something more than a name, orichalcum, was dug out of the earth in many parts of the island, being more precious in those days than anything except gold.’ In fact ingots of the mythical metal orichalcum have been discovered on the sea floor near Sicily (see image above), bringing myth to life once more.

Mainstream archaeologists will undoubtedly take the stance that no culture that far back into antiquity could possibly have had the knowledge of modern flying machines. The sheer absence of modern engines and landing strips for the craft to employ, tallied alongside the fact that many of the Quimbaya artefacts do resemble insects, fish and birds, leads some to the conclusion that what might appear to be aircraft simply must be something else more explicable.

We know that they created artefacts based on interpretations of real life people, animals and objects, so the question is not whether the Quimbaya objects represent something they have seen in the outside world but what exactly was it that they chose to replicate?

Is it not also possible that these remarkable artworks could have been crafted to pay homage to incredible aircraft witnessed by the Quimbaya people? Could they have seen evidence of modern technology in ancient times and set out to memorialise such auspicious occasions which they must have revered?

In order to prove that some of the Quimbaya artefacts were intended to replicate modern aircraft as they certainly appear to do at first glance, three German aeronautical engineers, Algund Eenboom, Peter Belting and Conrad Lubbers, built large scale radio-controlled models of two of the designs, the very first one was baptised ‘Goldflyer I’.

Peter Belting and Conrad Lubbers with their radio-controlled replica models of the Quimbaya aeroplanes.

Weighing 750g and measuring 90cm long with a wingspan of approximately one metre, Goldflyer I was built at a scale of 16:1, with the addition of a propeller on the nose of the plane and the necessary flaps and rolls attached to the wings. This simple design allowed the plane to have a stable flight path, and could land accurately and comfortably, leading the replica plane to behave as planes should, and fly with no problems.

‘Goldflyer II’ was the next to be developed, and was built following the exact same dimensions as the first but was equipped with a jet engine and landing gear this time. The team expected that the original artefacts would have been based upon a modern type of flying machine which would have included an engine such as the one they had attached to their larger model, as a propeller would not really have been a suitable means of propulsion going on the modern design of the Quimbaya planes.

Once these vital components were fixed on, Goldflyer II was a remarkable success. The large replicas of Quimbaya craft flew with ease, thus proving the aerodynamically-sound structural design of the ancient objects.

In August 1997, Belting and Eenboom gave a flight demonstration of the Goldflyer II during the AAS Conference in Florida. The plane’s impeccable behaviour in the air coupled with perfect landings impressed everybody, so ‘insect’ or ‘plane’, the aviation enthusiasts managed to prove the flight capabilities of the original designs regardless of their intended purpose.

One must question whether a simple bird or insect design alone if recreated in the same manner would have the capacity to achieve flight. It is highly unlikely as the specificity of plane design must meet certain requirements, and should any of those particulars not be met adequately, then flight would prove impossible.

The Germans have proved beyond reasonable doubt that what the Quimbaya have immortalised in their intricate statuettes were always meant to memorialise actual aircraft, and even though that may well be the case, we are still left with questions. Were they replicating their own craft, or the technology of others that they had witnessed, or did they make the items using historic knowledge given to them from a time gone by?

Helena Blavatsky wrote, ‘Whenever, in the pride of some new discovery, we throw a look into the past, we find, to our dismay, certain vestiges which indicate the possibility, if not the certainty, that the alleged discovery was not totally unknown to the ancients.'

Looking at the Quimbaya artefacts in a modern light only serves to reinforce such convictions.


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