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Monday 28 January 2013

This is NOT an Aeroplane

     Have a look at this. It is a pretty good representation of an aeroplane, wouldn't you say? There are the wings and the tailfins, vertical and horizontal, and even what appears to be an open cockpit. It was made by the Tolima Indians, southwest of Bogotá, Colombia, and it more than 500 years old - a superb example of pre-Columbian Indian goldwork, one of the very few which survived the melting-down mania of the marauding Spanish conquistadores.
     This, or something very like it, was celebrated by Erich von Däniken in his 1968 best seller, Chariots of the Gods?, and taken up by lots of band-wagoners on the theme that ancient astronauts had introduced aeroplanes to South America - perhaps to land them on the Nazca Lines, hundreds of miles to the south, some of which have the appearance of airstrips.