Vimana

Was it really 32 long years ago that the unidentified friendly object we now know as E.T first crashed onto our screens?

With those huge brown eyes and that cute wrinkly forehead any fears we had about extra-terrestrials visiting planet earth were gone as fast as you could say ‘phone home.’ And it’s a good job too because, according to the archaeology of this week’s Friday Five, aliens have not just already visited earth but left their mark for all (who look hard enough!) to see. And who knows when they might return…

1. Ancient Aeroplanes

Now we don’t need to tell you what this looks like. Clearly it’s a jet plane with its clear wings, stabilizing tails and even landing gears. Then how do we explain the fact that it was made by the Inca? Some believe these artefacts prove Incas had contact with extra-terrestrials who held advanced enough knowledge to construct these familiar flying machines. So much so that they built model planes built with the same proportions and fitted with propellers which (apparently) flew perfectly. The boring explanation? Birds, bees, flying fish? But really, look at those wings!

2. Glorification of the Eucharist

Painted by Ventura Salimbeni in the 16th-century this part of ‘Disputa of the Eucharist’ has all the components of the usual Holy Trinity. God the Father, God the Son, the dove as the Holy Spirit and… oh wait, what’s that in the middle? A shining metallic sphere with two antennae pointing up to the heavens. Sputnik?!

Eucharist

3. The Ubaid Lizard Men

Even though the Sumerians lived thousands of years ago and there is much we still don’t know about who they were and the way they lived, we’re almost certain they didn’t look like this! A number of figurines from Ubaid archaeological site in Iraq depict strange, reptile-like, humanoid beings. They stand in unique poses, different to how gods were commonly portrayed suggesting they weren’t just unusual deities. We don’t know who they are or what they’re doing there but they don’t look anywhere near as friendly or cute as E.T.

4. Vimanas

Sanskrit stories written in India two millennia ago mention ‘Vimanas.’ These were mythical flying machines sometimes described as flying chariots at other times more grander flying palaces. Their descriptions are said to be comparable to accounts of UFO sightings which some people believe proves the ancient Indians encountered visitors from another planet.

Vimana

5. Nazca lines

The Nazca lines have long been a source of amazement for many people. The huge designs depict lines, geometric shapes, animals and people the largest measuring as much as 200 metres across. Take a plane ride over Peru’s Nazca Desert and you will be able to catch a glimpse of them in their full glory. And that’s exactly our point. As these lines were created in ancient times, unless there’s something alien-y going on here they would never have been able to be properly viewed or appreciated in their own time.

Nazca Lines

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Aisling Serrant

An all round museum educator and enthusiast, Aisling's the Family Festival Coordinator at the Museum of London Docklands.

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