In a controversial claim made at the Indian Science Congress, Captain Anand J Bodas said that aeroplanes existed in India 7,000 years ago and they used to travel from not just one country to another but also to other planets.
Bodas - a retired principal of a pilot training facility - has sparked heated debates by making this comment. He delivered the lecture on the second day of the Congress under the aegis of Mumbai University as part of a session titled 'Ancient Sciences through Sanskrit'.
Bodas cited ancient Vedic texts to support his claim. "There is a reference of ancient aviation in the Rigveda."
He said Maharishi Bharadwaj spoke 7,000 years ago of "the existence of aeroplanes which travel from one country to another, from one continent to another and from one planet to another. He mentioned 97 reference books for aviation." "History merely notes that the Wright brothers first flew in 1904," he said.
Bharadwaj has authored the book Vimana Samhita in which he has written about various types of metal alloys used to build an aeroplane, Bodas said, adding, "Now we have to import aeroplane alloys. The young generation should study the alloys mentioned in his book and make them here,"
He also spoke of the "huge" aeroplanes which flew in ancient India. "The basic structure was of 60 by 60 feet and in some cases, over 200 feet. They were jumbo planes," he said. "The ancient planes had 40 small engines. Today's aviation does not know even of flexible exhaust system," he said.
The ancient Indian radar system was called 'rooparkanrahasya'. "In this system, the shape of the aeroplane was presented to the observer, instead of the mere blip that is seen on modern radar systems," he said.
Bharadwaj's book mentioned a diet of pilots. It contained of milk of buffalo, cow and sheep for specific periods, Bodas said. The pilot's clothes came from vegetation grown underwater, he said.