Written 20 November 2002
Look at this carefully? what do you see? its from ancient egypt, what do you think? something looks like a helicopter and UFO right? is this the proof that aliens were in egypt and they wrote in hieroglyphs and built the pyramids? Lets see,
(This page was converted from a .doc file to an html file using word so i suggest you use explorer to read this paper)
A famous hypothesis that many people believe is that aliens from other planets have visited the earth thousands of years ago and could have helped humans evolve technologically also creating a number of religions based on worshipping those who came from the stars -and those who are coming back.
These days, many people dig into the past, trying to find such evidence in ancient scripts, legends, monuments and artifacts. Deciding whether these hypotheses are correct and whether aliens have visited us –as gods or brothers- from the stars many thousands of years ago is beyond the scope of this research paper.
In this paper, I will examine only one piece of evidence that some claim to show that ancient Egyptians indeed used –or at least have seen- advanced flying machines. This piece of evidence is found in an ancient Egyptian temple called “The Temple of Abydos”. The evidence in question is a piece of hieroglyphic text found on a panel in this temple. I have analyzed this evidence based on the time period, the location it was found at, and the ancient Egyptian language. I also studied the many photographs presented in various websites (some of those sites claim that these glyphs are a sure proof of advanced technology while others have similar photos but support the other side of the fence). I ended this paper by presenting my conclusion.
A. The Glyphs:
Typing the words “Abydos” or “Abydos helicopter“ in any web search engine will yield hundreds of links to websites, many of those web sites will present various versions of the two photos shown below.
Photo I. ă Photo copyright Dr. Ruth McKinley-Hover
Photo II. Credit: www.finart.be/UfocomHq/usabydos.htm
Next, you can see some of the objects in question isolated after some enlargement and digital enhancements:
Photo III. Credit: www.pip.com.au/~paceman/
It’s clear that the Object on the leftmost side clearly represents a modern-day helicopter, the others could be explained as above, but have also been identified in many different ways ranging from war machines to alien hover crafts.
Here are some links to few of those websites who post similar pictures:
The pictures themselves have been photographed by a number of people; I couldn’t get much information about most of those who took those pictures except for their names. Those images were not shown in any books that I could find.
Mr. Alan Alford, the author of the book “When the Gods Came Down”, is also an independent researcher and writes about ancient mythology and the origins of the world religions etc. Mr. Alford has a well-constructed Website titled “Alan F. Alford”. At his Website I found an article that he wrote on the issue of the Helicopter of Abydos. In his article, he says, “I can now confirm that this hieroglyphic wall panel does exist and I have in my possession the negatives to prove it.” He continues “As I casually glanced up, I saw to my astonishment that the roof beam bearing the 'helicopter' image was right there”. He states that what was the impressive the most about the helicopter was “the combination of rotor blade, rotor shaft and tail-piece, the relative positions of which bear a close resemblance to modern helicopters, with cockpit and fuselage sections clearly visible.” (Alford).
Other good websites/articles that support this Egyptian flying machines theory are:
1. Could Ancient Man Fly? Found at the famous about.com http://paranormal.about.com/library/weekly/aa032000a.htm
2. Ancient Aircraft found at http://www.pip.com.au/~paceman/ANCIENT%20AIRCRAFT.html
The first photos of those glyphs were taken in 1998. Those hieroglyphs certainly are famous. You can even buy an Abydos Helicopter Frieze at a Website called “Legacy in stone” found at this web address: http://sites.ecpstore.com/halleyscomics/
B. The Location:
The next photo shows the Panel where the Glyphs are found (at the upper right side):
Photo IV. ă Photo copyright Dr. Ruth McKinley-Hover
More pictures will be shown later.
More accurately, the temple is called “The temple of Ramesses I at Abydos” (Winlock). Also known as “The Temple of Osiris at Abydos” and “the temple of art”, this temple and its hieroglyphs date back to the 19th dynasty. It was founded by Seti I, The son of Ramesses I (ca. 1300 B.C.) and was dedicated to the cult of Osiris (the god of the dead) the lord of Abdjou –or Abydos (JACQUES-EDOUARD and The German).
The city of Abydos is one of the oldest ancient Egyptian cities and used to be the domain for the early dynasties. Starting in the Middle Kingdom (2000 BC) “it became the "Mecca" of Pharaonic Egypt.” (The German). It used to be a religious center dedicated to the worship of Osiris and a burial ground for kings of the earliest dynasties (Dictionary.com). It is located on the Nile river northwest of the city of Thebes and about four-hundred-and-fifty kilometres south of Cairo (The German and BBC World Service).
Photo V. The entrance to the temple of Abydos
© 1999 Joan L. James. Credit:www.kenseamedia.com/november/
Many websites present the photos in question here as the ultimate evidence for ancient technology in ancient Egypt. Some sites relate those photographs to ancient stories in literature or legends of aircrafts and flying gods thus building their case based on those ancient connections.
I followed a different approach in studying those glyphs. Rather than connecting legends and pictures found on the Internet, I had to start from square one and study those glyphs closely (or their pictures since I can’t visit Egypt at the moment) before coming to any conclusions or past connections. In doing so, I closely considered a number of factors such as: The existence of any physical evidence or remains of those aircrafts, the existence of other glyphs showing similar technology, the possibility that these glyphs are normal Hieroglyphic symbols just like many others. I also spent time examining the images, comparing them closely; finally, I attempted to actually make sense of the glyphs and know what they say by translating them.
A. The Egyptians’ Level Of Technological Advancement:
The Egyptian civilization was certainly an advanced one; they built huge monuments, lived in an organized community with a pharaoh ruling the nation, and used mathematics and architectural techniques. But they depended on normal machinery; they used chariots, horses and wooden boats for transportation. We know this because we can read their hieroglyphs and touch what they left behind. Their technological level was far from creating modern flying machines. This argument of course leaves the possibility that the Egyptians could have seen flying machines that aliens used at the time.
The following photos show the use of chariots, bows and arrows in the pharaoh’s battle with Nubia to seek control over this rejoin bordering Egypt from the south..
Photo VI. Credit: “Pharaoh: Lord of the Two Lands “ www.ancientegypt.co.uk/pharaoh/
Next, an enlarged image of the Pharaoh’s Chariot.
Photo VII. Credit: “Pharaoh: Lord of the Two Lands “ www.ancientegypt.co.uk/pharaoh/
This brings to light the question “if the pharaoh possessed flying or war machines as some claim, why didn’t he use them in his wars?”
Another subject worth noting is the vehicles that the pharos used to travel in the afterlife. Those vehicles were nothing but wooden boats. These boats were built and buried in boat graves in the vicinity of the pharaohs’ tombs to be ready for use by the king in his journey to the stars after death.
I visited Egypt a number of years ago and had the chance to see one of those boats (recovered at Khufu's Great Pyramid at Giza) and learn about their purposes. The boat was of a considerable size and put on display in a dedicated museum by the pyramids.
If the Pharaoh had a flying machine, wouldn’t it be best choice for travel in the afterlife trip? Then, why weren’t they used instead of the common buried wooden boats?”
The following photo is of a drawing of a boat found inside the temple of Abydos.
Photo VIII. Found at the temple of Abydos
ă Photo credit: www.goegypt.info
In the year 2000, many boats were discovered at the Abydos site. Those boats are considered the earliest royal boats. As described in a press release of The University of Pennsylvania, those boats were”remarkable new evidence about the wealth, power and technological prowess of the earliest days of Egyptian civilization.” Some of these boats were between 60 and 80 feet long. (Archeologists’ First Look).
Dr. Oconnor a Professor of Egyptian Art and Archaeology, Institute of Fine Arts, New York University, explained that those boat graves contained boats that were built for the king to use in the afterlife. He continued by saying that the Abydos boats were “the direct ancestors of the famous boat recovered at Khufu's Great Pyramid at Giza and predate Khufu's boat by perhaps as much as 300 years." (Pierce).
III. Other Glyphs?
To examine other glyphs from the temple of Abydos I surfed the Internet looking at many photographs, I also consulted a book called “The Temple of Ramesses I At Abydos”. I did not find any unusual glyphs nor did I find anything that resembled flying machines or advanced technology.
B. A Closer Look At The Evidence:
I searched for depictions of those glyphs in books but I couldn’t find any. The only source of photographs to examine was the Internet. After surfing few websites claiming that those glyphs were authentic, I came across a new set of photos. The new photos were also claimed to be originals (untouched digitally).
I compared those two versions of photos; I found that the differences were apparent and don’t need much explaining. I noticed that the images that have been digitally enhanced were enhanced in a way that made them look as if they showed (resembled) a helicopter and other hover machines. I also noticed that the digitally enhanced images lost some of the depth appearing smooth and flat like a painting, not like an ancient carving that they were.
The following photograph is found at “The Abydos temple helicopter” Website. It is a close up of the panel that seems to be an original. There are visible differences when this photo is compared with the previous ones, and more details suddenly appear.
Photo IX. ă Bruce Rawles Credit: www.finart.be/UfocomHq/usabydos.htm
The next picture is also an original, untouched photograph. Below it, I included the digitally enhanced version to make the comparison of both versions of the same glyphs easier.
Photo X. Untouched photo
ă Bruce Rawles. Credit: (Ancient Flying) Machines.http://www.geocities.com/tasosmit2001/flying.htm
Photo II. The Digitally enhanced photo
The first photo shows more detail, these details could be crucial in determining the truth. I won’t say any more comments in this regard and I will leave it up to the reader to notice the newly visible details.
II. What Do The Photos Reveal?
The next logical step is to examine the original images, and try to decipher their contents. First, I had to familiarize myself with the Egyptian hieroglyphs; I did so by reading a number of books. Then, I compared the hieroglyph symbols that I had learned to the ones in the photographs looking for any matches or similarities and trying to isolate a carving that does not belong to the list of hieroglyph symbols that I had. Most of the changes ended up making perfect sense.
The following table is a list of few widely used hieroglyph alphabetical signs and their translation. This table is taken from Mr. Serge Rosmorduc, a lecturer at the Laboratory of research Industrial Communication in France (LINC).
Table 1: Alphabetical signs.
Source: Serge Rosmorduc at http://webperso.iut.univ-paris8.fr/~rosmord
At this point it’s worth mentioning that the ancient Egyptian language could be read either from the left to the right or from the right to the left. Reading is usually done into the eyes of the humans or animals in the sentence (Katan 68).
I found the following three books very helpful in learning how to read and understand hieroglyphic symbols/alphabet:
I also came across this very helpful figure in a Website written by Mr. Bruce Rawles.
Photo XI. The symbols do match known hieroglyphs!
Credit: ă Bruce Rawles. Found at The Abydos Mystery.
Armed with a little of knowledge of the Egyptian writing system and culture, and by looking at the figure above, the mysterious symbols started to make sense. They appeared to resemble two sets of overlapping symbols. Those superimposed symbols resulted in the unusual shapes (to the untrained eye) and they also created the illusion of a helicopter -for those who wanted to believe.
By reading about the Egyptian writing system and the history of the Abydos temple we find that it the Egyptians did recycle their previous inscriptions (Janku). When a new king rules, he can order certain inscriptions to be re-inscribed; that is exactly what happened at the temple of Abydos when the glyphs in question were recycled and written over under the pharaoh “Ramesses II “ after his father and predecessor “Seti I“.
The Egyptians rewrote some inscriptions by filling and covering the older ones in plaster (that matched the color of the stones) and simply re-carved new alphabets over the older ones. Such surfaces are called “palimpsest” (Janku and Orcutt).
In an email reply sent to “The Abydos Mystery website” found at www.enigmas.org/aef/lib/archeo, Mr. Serge Rosmorduc explained “The hieroglyps look as if done several times over, retouched by applying a plaster and thus changed in their reading-meaning” (Janku). Mr. Rosmorduc is a lecturer at LINC (LINC).
Apparently, due to erosion, some of the plaster that has been used fell of the panel showing in the process an older set of glyphs. The over-carving resulted in two or more sets of superimposed glyphs, the newer ones were deep enough to reach the ones below and overlap, the leftovers of the plaster added more obscurity to them.
Finally, the helicopter symbol theory gave way to a better explanation that may be disappointing to some of those who really wanted to find evidence of advanced technology from the past.
III. The Translation of the Glyphs:
We can’t just look at one or two symbols and try to make sense out of them, to truly understand a message we have to read the whole message. I ended my research in this topic by attempting to find the translation to the two or more layers of the superimposed glyphs. Here’s what I found:
The following photograph by Andrew Bayuk, found at the Catchpenny Mysteries website shows the glyphs in context.
Photo XII. © Photo copyright Andrew Bayuk
http://www.catchpenny.org/abydos.html Catchpenny Mysteries
The next image attempts to give a translation to the glyphs found on the panel:
Photo XIII. ăLumir G. Janku. Found at Rawles, Bruce. The Abydos Mystery.
I am not an expert on reading glyphs, but I self-taught myself basic principles, and with the aid of many tables similar to table I, and the figure above, I could translate most of the contents and determine that they were normal hieroglyphs.
Here is a little description of what the glyphs said:
· The leftmost symbol is a Royal Cartouche. The next group of symbols -to the right of the Royal Cartouche- are part of a standard determinative for Lower and Upper Egypt
· The next portion to the right is apparently composed of two overlapping carvings.
· In this section, we see older glyphs that were written for Seti I, and were replaced with glyphs that belonged to his son and successor Ramesses II. (Janku).
In an email correspondence between Mr. Thierry and Katherine Griffis-Greenberg, (a Member of the American Research Center in Egypt, International Association of Egyptologists),Ms. Griffis-Greenberg explained:
“In the photos, we clearly see "Who repulses the Nine Bows," which figures in some of the Two-Ladies names of Seti I, replaced by "Who protects Egypt and overthrows the foreign countries," a Two-Ladies name of Ramesses II. With some of the plaster that once covered Seti I's titulary now ..” (Thierry).
She also continued:
“The "Nine Bows" refers to the _nine traditional enemies of Egypt_, so an alternate (though not literal) translation of the phrase is: "Who repulses the Nine [Enemies of Egypt]… “ (Thierry).
Ms. Griffis-Greenberg has a Website called “GRIFFIS CONSULTING” that has links to useful information in regards to the ancient Egyptians and Abydos. The web address can be found in the work cited section of this paper.
Note: When read, the hieroglyphs in the script discussed above are read from right to left, in the direction moving into the eyes of the animals, ex. into the yes of the chick (bird)
I’ve studied these glyphs intensively and came to the conclusion that they don’t contain any reference to flying machines or advanced technology. Rather, they are normal, superimposed carvings.
The images that have been spread over the Internet showing what seemed like a helicopter were digitally enhanced to a degree that distorted the truth and thus made them “fakes”. It is sad that many websites presented such photos/info as facts, even sadder that many people fall prey to such claims; even the writer Alan Alford (the self acclaimed researcher) did, but he is certainly not alone.
People’s imagination and eagerness to find extraterrestrial life combined with a lack of knowledge or critical thinking cause many of us to believe in misleading information. It is up to individuals to think critically, think scientifically, and always wonder about what they see.
As I said earlier, in this paper, I did not try to solve all the evidence claiming to show alien influences in ancient human civilizations. Instead, I examined one instance that happened to be a fake; there certainly could be a real mystery out there waiting to be discovered, the truth could be out there. As far as this paper is concerned, the Pharaoh’s Helicopter is certainly not a real mystery.
Photo I. Found @ Catchpenny Mysteries: Pharaoh’s Helicopter?
Photo II. Found at The Abydos temple helicopter.
Photo III. Found @ Ancient Aircraft.
Photo IV. Found @ Catchpenny Mysteries: Pharaoh’s Helicopter?
Photo V. from http://www.kenseamedia.com/november/seti.htm
Photo VI and VII from Pharaoh: Lord of the Two Lands
Photo VIII. The Temple of Abydos. October 10, 2002.
Photo IX. Found at The Abydos temple helicopter.
Photo X. Ancient Flying Machines.24 September 2002.
Photo XI. Found at The Abydos Mystery.
Photo XII. © Andrew Bayuk from:
<http://www.catchpenny.org/abydos.html Catchpenny Mysteries>
Photo XIII. ăLumir G. Janku. Found at The Abydos Mystery.
Table I. Source: Serge Rosmorduc. Source:
Alford, Alan F. On the Helicopter at Abydos 15 November, 2002
Ancient Aircraft. 24 September 2002.
Archeologists’ First Look Confirms Existence of Earliest Royal Boats at Abydos. Press-
release of The University of Pennsylvania Museum Yale University Expedition to Abydos: Tuesday, October 31, 2000.
< http://www.geocities.com/TimesSquare/Alley/4482/Abydosboat.html >
Atlantis Giza Connection Challenged: Egyptian War Vehicles. 10 October 2002
BBC World Service: Ancient Egyptian boat discovered
Could Ancient Man Fly? 24 September 2002.
Davis, W.V. Reading The Past, Egyptian Hieroglyphs. London: The British Museum
Dictionary.com October 10, 2002 <www.dictionary.com>
GRIFFIS CONSULTING - ABYDOS Holy City of Ancient Egypt
JACQUES-EDOUARD BERGER FOUNDATION: World Art treasures: Pilgrimage to
Abydos (Online Tour). October 10, 2002
Janku, Lumir G. The Abydos Mystery.
Katan, Norma Jean and Barbara Mintz. Hieroglyphs The writing of ancient Egypt.
LINC researchers.15 October, 2002
Orcutt, Larry. Catchpenny Mysteries: Pharaoh’s Helicopter? 14 October 2002.
Pierce, Richard. Archeologists' first look confirms existence of earliest royal boats at
Rosmorduc, Serge. Serge ROSMORDUC. 15 October 2002.
Rosmorduc, Serge. Serge ROSMORDUC: Hieroglyphs. 15 October 2002.
Scott, Joseph and Leonore Scott. Egyptian Hieroglyphs. New York: Hippocrene Books,
The German Archaeological Institute: Abydos.10 November 2002
< http://www.dainst.org/index.php >
Thierry. The Abydos temple helicopter. 15 November 2002.
< http://www.finart.be/UfocomHq/usabydos.htm >
Winlock, Herbert E. The Temple Of Ramesses I At Abydos. New York: Arno Press,
Winlock, Herbert E. The Temple Of Ramesses I At Abydos. New York: Arno Press,
1973. (Book examined for anomaly glyphs)
Daniken, Erich Von. Chariots Of The Gods? Unsolved Mysteries of the Past. New York:
Wilkinson, Richard H. Reading Egyptian Art: A Hieroglyphic Guide to Ancient Egyptian
Painting and Sculpture. New York: Thames and Hudson, 1992.
Murray, Margaret Alice. Egyptian Sculpture. Connecticut: Greenwood Press, 1970.
Pharaoh: Lord of the Two Lands. <http://www.ancientegypt.co.uk/pharaoh/>
Abydos The temple of Art. <http://www.tut62.net/abydos.htm>
Knight's Templar Site. <http://www.veling.nl/anne/templars/ancientaircraft_nf.html>