In the piece carried on this column on October 30, titled The Extraterrestrial Base On Mt Sinai, I mentioned briefly a NASA engineer, Josef F. Blumrich whose attempt to disprove claims of alien visitations in the Bible opened his eyes to UFO and alien activities in the Scriptures. Blumrich was at the time in charge of NASA construction research group at Huntsville, Alabama and later, was a holder of the NASA Exceptional Service Medal.
NASA is the acronymn for the National Aeronautics and Space Administration of the United States of America. As the name implies, it handles all matters of space research, including the design and construction of space vehicles.
Blumrich had come across a book titled Chariots Of The Gods? written in 1968 by Eric von Daniken where the author suggested that the “vision of God” that Prophet Ezekiel claimed to have seen by River Chebar was actually an encounter with a space vehicle and its alien occupant(s). Like many today, Blumrich found that claim outrageous. How could anyone be talking of spaceships thousands of years before Jesus?
The rocket construction engineer decided to tear Daniken and his claims apart. But first, he did the sensible thing: he got hold of a Bible and carefully read the said account in the first chapter of Ezekiel.
He got the shock of his life!
The rocket engineer discovered that he had before him the description of a space shuttle with possibly a mother ship in the Earth’s orbit! The only trouble was that Ezekiel, a shepherd-turned prophet, was employing the inadequate religious vocabulary of his time and environment to describe a technology that was by far beyond his understanding. Blumrich admitted defeat and later wrote a book: The Spaceships Of Ezekiel, in support of Daniken’s claim. There he detailed his findings including technical drawings and a reconstruction of the spaceship.
It was such a tremendous awakening for Blumrich, a Catholic, that he actually resigned his appointment with NASA to devote the rest of his life to research into aliens and extraterrestrial intelligence. All these occurred about 40 years ago! Readers who are not too religious or too lily-livered to face reality can google Blumrich on the internet for more information.
Here is Blumrich’s own account:
“My own involvement in the subject of extraterrestrial visitors began with a vehemently negative attitude. Having worked as an aeronautical engineer since 1934 — first in the design and analysis of aircraft, then for the past fifteen years in the design and development of both launching vehicles and spacecraft — I was firmly entrenched in the camp of those who declare visits from outer space to be an impossibility.
“It was in this frame of mind that I began to read Erich von Daniken’s “Chariots of the Gods? His claim that the prophet Ezekiel had encounters with spaceships prompted me to read the bibical book of Ezekiel carefully with the intention of proving von Daniken wrong. By the time I had got to verse 7 of the very first chapter, however, I found myself interpreting a description of the landings legs of some kind of flying vehicle: “Their legs were straight and the soles of their feet were round; and they sparkled like burnished bronze.”
“Having designed and tested such structures myself, I could not deny that it was possible to read in this a direct, yet simple, technical description.
“The contrast of that evidently clear passage with the quite hazy pictures sketched by the rest of the chapter made me realize that the prophet could not have known what it was he had seen, or could not have understood it. I realize the necessary consequences of this: the prophet could only describe his encounters with space vehicles and their crews in the terms available to him —with words and comparisons familiar to him and his contemporaries. So I began taking Ezekiel seriously, in an engineering sense.
“Because I had to rely on translations, I used six different bibles, ranging in time from early in the last century to 1972, edited by Jewish, Roman Catholic, and protestant translators. Besides these, I used two highly detailed biblical commentaries.
“My application of aircraft (specifically, helicopter) and spacecraft engineering principles to the reports of the prophet resulted in the penetration of Ezekiel’s visual descriptions, and the replacement of these by known structural configurations. The final result is shown by the drawing …
“There we see a quasi-conical main body, supported by four helicopter units, which carries the command capsule atop its rounded upper portion. We should consider that Ezekiel first saw this vehicle at a distance of about 1,000 meters, at the moment the nuclear engine fired, probably with some white clouds of condensation (because of the engine’s “chilldown” phase) shooting past the craft’s main body.
“In these fiery, dynamic surroundings Ezekiel notices the moving rotors, sees the landing legs and mechanical arms attached to the helicopter units. His first reaction is to compare the helicopters with man-like figures, but he then finds in the term ‘living creatures’ an expression of admirable vagueness to reflect his uncertainty. During final decent and landing, Ezekiel observes the protective covers of the helicopter’s gear mechanisms, which he was able to describe best by comparing them with human faces. He notices the red-hot radiator –glowing coals- (Chapter 1, verse 13)
13. “’As for the likeness of the living creatures, their appearance was like burning coals of fire, and like the appearance of lamps: it went up and down among the living creatures; and the fire was bright, and out of the fire went forth lightning.’”
… the prophet is fascinated by the wheels which, in their basic form, are the only element he recognizes and thus describes in great detail.
“The visual description of the wheel has been misinterpreted in numerous paintings and texts. Yet no one has ever taken seriously the functional description which indicates that the wheels could move, in any direction, without being turned or steered. The latter has led me to develop a precise engineering interpretation, and for which a patent was granted by the United States Patent Office no. 3,789,947, Feb. 5, 1974. A particularly gratifying application of this interpretation, incidentally, would be to facilitate considerably the mobility of wheelchairs for the physically handicapped.
“Ezekiel ends his technical description with comments on the command capsule and on the commander himself. The amount of detail he includes is astounding. It is significant that the prophet describes features which are of little engineering importance but which, to the eye, carry the same weight as true structural elements. The quasi-conical shape of the spacecraft’s central body — Ideally suited to permit its combination with the helicopters, and thus a most important feature of the vehicle — is an existing engineering product. It was developed at the Langley Research Center of NASA, and has been studied analytically and in a series of wind-tunnel tests.
“After establishing the general configuration of the spaceship, I made an analytical investigation; … From the first crude calculation to the final detailed analysis, the results left no doubt of the vehicle’s feasibility: they reveal a general technology of spacecraft construction not far beyond our current, most advanced capabilities. The only element we are incapable of building is the nuclear reactor within the propulsion system. Although this would be a fission reactor, it would require a specific impulse, of at least 2,000 seconds against the about 900 seconds of today’s nuclear engines. It is reasonable to assume, however, that we could have this capability within a few decades if we were to invest enough effort in its development.
‘The over-all result, then, is a space vehicle technically feasible beyond doubt and very well designed to suit function and purpose; its technology is in no way fantastic but, even in its extreme aspects, lies almost within our own capabilities of today. The results indicate, moreover, that Ezekiel’s spacecraft operated in conjunction with a mother vessel orbiting the earth. We have no point of firm reference for an exact determination of the dimensions of the landing craft, but we can approximate these within the range I investigated analytically. The illustration … shows the shape and proportions. The diameter of the central body would be about 18 m, that of the rotor of a helicopter unit would be 11 m, total weight from the time of lift-off from the earth for the return flight to the mother ship would be 100,000 kg, the engine’s specific impulse would be 2,080 seconds, and the craft would carry two or three passengers.
“… Determining the form, dimensions and functional capabilities of what Ezekiel saw makes understandable a number of passages in his text that are otherwise meaningless; it also aids considerably in separating the prophetic or visionary parts of Ezekiel’s book from those concerning encounters with spaceships. (I confined my study to the latter.) Being an engineer, I am not qualified to investigate the non-engineering portions.”
Born March17, 1913, Blumrich died on February 10, 2002,roughly a month to his 89th birthday..