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FLYING HIGH: A VERY EARLY HISTORY OF SPACE TRAVEL

by : Peter Fredson
Sunday April 16, 2006 - 15:48
3 comments

By Peter Fredson

April 16, 2006

People, watching birds, probably wished they too could fly. In ancient times, in many countries, flying Gods were imagined by story tellers, who invested them with immortality, supernatural powers to overcome natural conditions such as gravity, with the ability to live in the sky and travel through space.

In Ancient Sumer, gods flew in vehicles called Shems, described as rocket-like "rocks” emitting fire. It was thought possible to travel to the sky home of the gods for a visit. Gods could ascend and descend at will from their abode in the sky

In Egypt the sky gods traveled in flying “boats”, while in China they flew on “fire-breathing dragons.” The Tibetans say their first kings came from the stars and later returned there. In Korea the god Haemosu, flew in a chariot behind 5 dragons.

In India, according to the Mahabharata: “The gods, in cloud-borne chariots...bright celestial cars in concourse sailed upon the cloudless.

Sky gods were numerous in Ancient Egypt, Babylon, Sumeria, and other countries, while the Greeks had numerous flying sky gods like Hera, Zeus and Iris with golden wings, or Helios whose golden sky chariot was pulled by white fire-breathing horses. Apollo was the god of the sun. He is usually pictured flying across the sky in a golden chariot drawn by white horses.

Gods were often pictured with wings, or riding on dragons, unicorns, and broomsticks. Santa has reindeer for propulsion. Bellerophon, the Greek, rode a magnificent winged horse, Pegasus, but he decided to fly up to the sky gods, so Pegasus threw Bellerophon to the ground, because his ambition had grown too great.

Mercury: In Greek mythology Hermes, whom the Romans later called Mercury, was the swiftest god of all. He served as messenger for Zeus. In his job as messenger, he wore a broad-rimmed traveler’s hat and winged sandals made "of imperishable gold which bore him swift as a breath of air over sea and earth," and carried a caduceus or herald’s staff around which serpents or ribbons were entwined. Because of his speed he is sometimes considered a wind god. Mercury delivered Zeus’ command to Calypso to release Odysseus to let him return to his wife.

Thus Gods were believed to flit through space, to ascend or descend at will. Some traveled with wings, others were drawn by flying animals, and some had no visible means of propulsion.

It was up to a human inventor that used technology for the first recorded human flight into space. It was Daedalus, who had been imprisoned by King Minos. He escaped from the prison but could not leave the island, as King Minos kept strict watch on all ship traffic.

So Daedalus had a great thought. “Minos might control the land and the sea, but not the regions of the air, so I will try that way.”

According to Ovid in his Metamorphoses, Daedalus fabricated wings for himself and young son Icarus. He sewed large feathers together with thread and the smaller ones with wax, giving the apparatus a curvature like a bird’s wings. When the work finished, Daedalus, waving his wings, found himself lifted upward to hang suspended in the air.

He then fitted Icarus with another set of wings and showed him how to fly. When all was ready he said, "Icarus, my son, I charge you to keep at a moderate height, for if you fly too low the damp will clog your wings, and if too high the heat will melt them. Keep near me and you will be safe."

Then he flew off, and looked back to see how Icarus managed his wings. As they flew off a farmer stopped his work to gaze, thinking they were gods who could thus cleave the air.

They passed Samos and Delos on the left and Lebynthos on the right, when the boy, exulting in his career, left the guidance of Daedalus and soared upward as if to reach heaven. The nearness of the blazing sun softened the wax holding the feathers together, and they came off. He fluttered with his arms, but no feathers remained to hold the air, so he fell into the sea.

While he cried to his father he became submerged in the blue sea, which was thenceforth called by his name. His father cried, "Icarus, Icarus, where are you?" At last he saw feathers floating on the water, and bitterly lamenting his arts, he buried the body and called the land Icaria in memory of his child.

Daedalus arrived safely in Sicily, where he built a temple to Apollo and hung up his wings, an offering to the god. Daedalus buried Icarus where today still stands a small rock promontory jutting into the Aegean Sea. He named the island and the sea around it “Icarian,”

- from Bulfinch’s Mythology and from Ovid

Icarus is cited as a moral lesson about the danger of hubris, suggesting that someone who dares to fly too close to the realm of the gods will suffer for it, like Bellerophon.

The Legend of Daedalus and Icarus illustrates a fine distinction the Greeks made between science and religion. Although imbued with supernatural beliefs in gods and goddesses, supernatural actions, unnatural abodes, they knew how to separate human actions from their beliefs. Daedalus tries to gain his freedom by improving upon his human condition. He uses knowledge to gain power over his limited nature.

Other tales of unaided sky travel are simple assertions that such things occurred, but give no details of process. Belief, or faith, requiring enormous lack of concern for facts is necessary. Daedalus, Greek inventor, gives details of exactly how he learned to fly by fashioning wings of feathers, wax and thread. It is almost believable, requiring no supernatural action or intervention, no unexplained propulsion, no simple assertion. And thus it is the first story of human flight using technology.

In contrast the Biblical account of the alleged Ascension of Christ is about the shortest possible assertion regarding a voyage into space. It contrasts with the specific details of Daedalus’ invention, by lack of any detail.

"He was raised up and a cloud received Him out of their sight" (Acts 1:9)

Or, Luke 24:51 ”While he was blessing them, he left them and was taken up into heaven.”

No details, no facts, just a suspension of all disbelief, a disdain of all skepticism.

On this tenuous basis an entire religious industry arose, spreading like cancer, multi-billion dollars in scope, priest-manufactured, continued by imperial edicts commanding belief under penalty of banishment, imprisonment, or death, with scores of professional story tellers contributing imaginary details for the True Believer’s delight.

The amount of words interpreting this one-sentence assertion can fill an entire library. There are no contemporaneous accounts of the “Ascension” but details were added by faithful priests who were not present at the incident, many years after this alleged incident. The myth grew rapidly afterward, without a single impartial witness to this extraordinary event.

No priest asks for details about a person rising without propulsive power when a vast array of equipment is needed for modern astronauts.

According to Bible scholars the only equipment Christ had was a robe and sandals. He had no space suit, no oxygen, no food, no water. So how did he travel into space without gear, and exist someplace up there without any helmet, suit, food, or propulsive rocket?

What about radiation, the effect of weightlessness, the extreme cold, the lack of oxygen, the need for food and drink, the need to urinate and defecate, the need for sleep, disorientation, space sickness, meteorite bombardment, health hazards, loss of body minerals, replenishment of bodily energy, osteoporosis, muscle wasting and cardiovascular deconditioning?

According to calculations, one average human requires 2600 grams of food, 686 grams of oxygen ( O2) and 400 grams of water. They then produce 857 grams of CO2, 857 grams of water and 1972 grams of waste. At standard temperature and pressure, the equivalent volume of oxygen is about 50 liters per hour. Both zero gravity, solar bursts, and cosmic rays have severe health implications for astronauts with grave effects on cells, tissues, hormonal and immune systems

What type of propulsion was necessary to reach the acceleration necessary to escape Earth’s gravity? How high can a body ascend without propulsion, equipment, nourishment, protection? Could Christ ever reach a stable orbit around some planet?

Where did he ascend to? Christians say it is to “Heaven.”

What kind of body could ascend, unaided? Christians say it is “incorporeal,” having no body, pure spirit which needs no food, water, no space suit. You just think “up” and away you go. Nothingness does not provide much material to work with. Of course, incorporeal transportation would avoid spending billions of dollars in space research. It certainly is cheap, requiring only True Faith as an investment. Even NASA tries hard to cut space travel cost down from the estimate $10,000/pound at present.

Our best geophysical maps of large parts of the Universe don’t show any place for residence in space. One wonders where Christ may have gone, and existed for 2,000 years. Yet True Believers insist he is “up there” someplace and will return, momentarily. The explanation is that it is a divine mystery revolving around the concepts of a “soul” and “spirit” whose interpretation requires another library full of semantic jugglery.

So, how could Christ with his robe and sandals “rise up?” Perhaps he used a Roman Candle, inserted rectally, lit the fuse and he “went up.” I don’t know any other way, but I am sure that any Christian priest can recite volumes of interpretation which explain everything very nicely.

Belief in miracles was a great part of early Christianity with miraculous births and cures, stellar phenomenon at the beck and call of True Believers, walking on water, flying through space, restoring the blind, raising the dead, and casting out devils, were all part of “normal” faith.

Christian ideology is based on Pagan concepts from many sources. Christianity either extirpated ancient beliefs or took them over with syncretic modifications. Resurrection and Ascension are ideas that priests inherited or appropriated from a variety of preceding religions.

The Biblical passage in 2 Kings 2:11) - "Then it came about as they were going along and talking, that behold, there appeared a chariot of fire and horses of fire which separated the two of them. And Elijah went up by a whirlwind to heaven." shows the connection to pagan beliefs.

The many volumes dedicated to crucifixion show the partisanship of Christian priests, who never discuss the greater heroism of Spartacus, a truly liberating figure of ancient history.

How long would a trip to our nearest star take? We got the Galileo spacecraft to go about 100,000 kilometers/hour. The nearest star would take 44,500 years. Even if Christ could get his speed up to that level, he is evidently a long way from reaching any destination.

Many old paintings show winged characters: angels, Cupids, cherubs and so on. But I tell a story of flying men; not gods, not angels, but common mortals.

Leonard da Vinci made what seems to be the first helicopter. On December 17, 1903, at Kitty Hawk, North Carolina, Wilbur and Orville Wright piloted the Wright Flyer which was the first heavier-than-air craft to achieve a short controlled flight.

The rest is history. We have gone to the Moon, now we want to go to Mars.

For me, traveling around our Earth is excitement enough. I still would like to ascend several mountains, visit great waterfalls, travel through rain-forest, see the Great Wall of China, and go to the Galapagos Islands, travel to see Arctic glaciers before they disappear, swim the Hellespont, climb up the Pyramids, enjoy the Parthenon and Coliseum, visit the fjords of the Nordic countries, and sample the foods of various countries.

That would be miraculous.



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Commentaires de l'article
 

> FLYING HIGH: A VERY EARLY HISTORY OF SPACE TRAVEL
Sunday April 16 - 23:27 - Posted by ab7c2724794cd002...

If someone offers me an all-expense paid 6 months world tour, I’d thank them and fly high.




> FLYING HIGH: A VERY EARLY HISTORY OF SPACE TRAVEL
Monday April 17 - 02:34 - Posted by 17d03fb6f9efa91e...

Earthbound misfits! That is what we are!




> FLYING HIGH: A VERY EARLY HISTORY OF SPACE TRAVEL
Sunday April 23 - 04:59 - Posted by 94728cabe844833f...

It’s my belief that the Savior used the very same technique to rise that was widely attributed to Chlorofluorocarbons in the 1990’s. Even though everyone knows that refrigerants like R12 are heavier than air, *some how* they rise and destroy the ozone.

Jesus, too is heavier than air, but rose to destroy sin.

This makes one wonder if sin and ozone may play a similar role in nature. Question is, do the pure burn easlily? Don’t know!







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