On Sunday, a lecture on ancient Indian aircraft was presented at a mainstream scientific conference in India. In a session titled “Ancient Indian Aviation Technology,” those who believe in ancient pilots who flew from country to country, planet to planet, and forward and backward told their audience of distinguished scientists how it was accomplished.
The presentation took take place at the 102nd Indian Science Congress being held from January 3 to 7 on the campus of Mumbai University. The program included lectures to be delivered by leading scientists as well as six Nobel laureates, the Mumbai Mirror reports. The lecture on ancient aircraft was delivered along with topics such as a discussion of the large Multi-wavelength Indian Satellite Mission, string theory, quantum mechanics, and India’s Neutrino Observatory Project.
The 30-minute lecture on ancient Indian aircraft was given by the retired head of a flight training facility, Captain Anand J. Bodas, and by Ameya Jadhav, a lecturer at a college in Mumbai.
Mr. Boda is quoted in the Mumbai Mirror as saying “modern science is unscientific” because it considers things it does not comprehend as not possible. He is further quoted as saying, “The Vedic or rather ancient Indian definition of an aeroplane was a vehicle which travels through the air from one country to another country, from one continent to another continent, from one planet to another planet,” he said. “In those days aeroplanes were huge in size, and could move left, right, as well as backwards, unlike modern planes which only fly forward.”
The aircraft discussed by Bodas were said to have been constructed 7,000 years ago. The paper describing the documentation of ancient flight stated, “The knowledge of aeronautics is described in Sanskrit in 100 sections, eight chapters, 500 principles and 3,000 verses. In the modern day, only 100 principles are available.” The others were said to have been lost over time. The documentation was said to have been very detailed, describing not only how flight was achieved but also how pilots should behave, dress and even eat.
Not surprisingly, the planned lecture was not welcomed by all. Dr. Ram Prasad Gandhiraman of NASA’s Ames Research Center, as well as other prominent scientists, objected to the incorporation of a lecture on ancient Indian aircraft in the conference as being an inclusion of pseudoscience in a respected scientific gathering. He and more than 200 scientists from around the world signed a petition stating their opposition to including a topic associated with Indian myth into a conventional scientific conference where the results of research are based on modern experimentation, documentation and peer-reviewed results.
The petition did not halt the lecture, however. The discussion of ancient Indian aircraft took place as scheduled in a general session titled “Ancient Sciences Through Sanskrit.” Other lecturers who presented papers during this session urged young Indian scientists to at least look at ancient Sanskrit sources to see what knowledge could be derived from them since there was a possibility that ancient knowledge may have been lost over time and may be rediscovered.
The petitioners opposing the lecture, however, likely did not think much scientifically valid information on aeronautics was gained during the conference’s session on ancient Indian aircraft.