Finding people and ideas that intersect over time and lead to better knowledge is an intellectual joy. It’s like pulling a heavy velvet fabric and revealing antique and valuable intricacies thanks to someone who has an interesting piece of knowledge.
Enrico Baccarini’s piece on the Vimana provided me with further information on a topic that I had addressed in my autobiography, which he had recently published. So, after reading Alicia McDermott’s “request” to discuss this topic, I reasoned that combining my knowledge with his would result in a better understanding of a contentious issue. Furthermore, I’d want to emphasize that the facts I recounted in my book Tre Vite in Una (Three Lives in One) – (Enigma Edizioni 2020) – date back to the 1980s, at a time when talking or writing about Vimana may appear to be an insult to logic.
The Explanation Disappeared in Thin Air…
I’m always disappointed when I think I’m getting close to an explanation—a fresh understanding—only to have it vanish into thin air. Because my aims are nearly always uncommon and eccentric in comparison to existing conventions, I have experienced this letdown more than often.
When I met David W. Davenport, co-author of 2000 BC: Atomic Destruction with Ettore Vincenti (first edition 1979 by Sugarco), I thought I was on the verge of a big breakthrough and a new understanding of my gadget. He was introduced to me by the aeronautical engineer Franco Piccari, who had informed me privately that they were collaborating to try to recreate an airplane mentioned in ancient Sanskrit literature. Davenport, I reasoned, could be the only person who could comprehend how my invention could function, especially if anything about its mechanics reminded him of old technology.
He possessed the necessary abilities and expertise. Perhaps he had discovered something in his Sanskrit studies that were related to the operation of my equipment. Unfortunately, his untimely death prevented him from realizing his objectives and dreams, as well as those of many others, including mine.
His work was outstanding. Davenport was an archeologist and oriental language specialist who was born in India to English parents. After discovering what looked to be an “aeronautics handbook” in the Indus Valley, he wrote about his study comparing the original Sanskrit writings, Rig Veda, Mahbhrata, Rmyaa, and hundreds of other ancient literature.
– In the Sanskrit Texts, Aerial Ships, Nuclear Weaponry, and Infinite Universes
– The Mysterious Secret Society of Ancient India and Ashoka’s Nine Unknown Men
The city of Mohenjo-Daro (located in modern-day Pakistan), according to Davenport and his co-author, was destroyed 4000 years ago by an explosion powerful enough to raze the city, incinerate its population, and vitrify bricks and ceramics. An Italian laboratory examined their findings and discovered that samples from Mohenjo-Daro had been subjected to a shockwave of transient and severe heat of many thousands of degrees centigrade. The only force capable of causing such an impact, according to our current understanding of matter, would have been a nuclear explosion.
An Ancient Text Covering Aeronautics Science?!
Among the other ideas discussed in his book, Davenport devoted a significant amount of space to the possibility of a technical/technological translation of Maharashi Bharadwaja’s ancient aeronautical manual, the Vaimnika Shstra (Science of Aeronautics), which briefly describes the operation of the Vimanas, an ancient aircraft that sailed the skies around 4,000 years ago, and the equipment that aircraft used. Davenport’s thorough research led him to the conclusion that this work should be combined with other Sanskrit manuscripts, which are rarely known even in India and have never been translated into the West.
The Vaimnika Shstra, on the other hand, could not be called a real book on aeronautical engineering, owing to its unusual shortness. The entire manuscript is only 124 pages long, and much of it is devoted to instructions for pilots, such as what to eat and wear, what metals to use to build the Vimanas, geological information on where to find these metals, how to use furnaces, bellows, and crucibles to prepare the metals for construction, a description of the three types of Vimanas and their equipment, electric generators, and electric motors.
There are many varied concepts packed into too few pages, and the book sadly lacks the specific directions required to recreate the devices today. More than anything, the book recommends a type of scientific summary meant to provide non-scientists with a comprehensive understanding of the subject.
Among the translated portions of the Vaimnika Shstra that Davenport mentions in 2000 BC Atomic Destruction, the following one stood out to me:
“For instance, consider the electric motor. It is explained as follows:
“A thin metal wire twisted in turns with a thin wire cage in the middle makes up the electric motor.” A glass tube transports current from the generator to the engine. Appropriate wheels are attached to the wire cage to connect it to the generator’s spinning device or the pinion shaft.”
“Whoever composed these phrases,” Davenport says in 2000 BC,
“certainly knew the electric motor, because he correctly cited the three fundamental elements: the winding (or “solenoid” to use more technical language); the central rotating part (it is interesting to note that in modern three-phase motors, this rotating part is called “squirrel cage”), and the insulator (“glass,” says the text, and we immediately imagine the tubes used today, but nothing prevents the use of actual glass, which is excellent insulation, but little used today because Furthermore, the movable portion is stated to be attached on one side to a generator pole and on the other to a pinion, which communicates the movement to the machine in question. It does, however, make only hazy references to basic physical concepts and seems perplexed by the linkages. As a result, in order to grasp what is stated, the reader must have a strong understanding of electrical engineering; otherwise, even with the greatest intentions, all he will obtain is a “proto-motor”: a device that looks like an electric motor but does not operate. It is a description that corresponds to our understanding of scientific vulgarization. It appears to be more akin to how an electrical engineer may describe to a layperson, in very broad words, how an engine works.”
Language and Communication Issues
Once again, we are confronted with the difficulties of language and the difficulty of articulating complicated thoughts. Davenport also wrestled with the difficulty of translating from a foreign, archaic language to current technology terminology. G.R. Josyer, the director of the International Academy of Sanskrit Research in Mysore, completed the original translation of the Vaimnika Shstra from which Davenport worked.
Mr. Josyer was a distinguished Sanskritist and an expert in ancient Indian culture, but he was not a scientist and lacked the vocabulary for the most modern aeronautical, electronic, chemical, and metallurgical techniques that would have allowed Davenport to create a more complete scientific understanding of the craft described in the text.
In this excerpt, Davenport analogizes the communication difficulty:
“A scholar of our society may have difficulties grasping what a tiger’s eye necklace may be in the far future.” Everyone understands that it is a necklace made of a certain sort of iridescent rough stone, yellow and brown. If, however, a hypothetical researcher came across the identical statement and translated it to the letter, and by “tiger’s eyes” we actually meant the huge cat’s eyeballs, he would undoubtedly have peculiar thoughts about twentieth-century women’s habits.”
Marutsakha Takes to the Sky: Modern Aviation Inspired by Ancient Vimana
Speakers at the Science Congress claim that thousands of years ago, ancient India perfected advanced space flight.
Alternatively, he may have difficulties determining what the “gooseneck” maybe (the jointed shaft that transmits movement to the pistons). Or decipher the “whiskers,” which are incredibly long and thin crystals created in the laboratory and utilized as non-metallic aircraft components due to their extremely great heat and stress resistance. These carbon crystals have been given the moniker “Whiskers” (cat whiskers). However, interpreting the word to the letter would not assist the scholar in comprehending why our planes are equipped with cat whiskers.
Hundreds of instances exist in today’s vocabulary that can only be comprehended if we live in the time when these phrases are utilized.
When I describe the building of my gadget, I use language and information that I am familiar with. My explanation invariably translates as “pizza” to the scientist, or so my Roman aerospace engineer buddy told me. Similarly, I think that if a future scholar communicated anything “technical” to us, something that operates on other principles than we know today, what would we initially understand? I have very little faith.