The Quimbaya Artefacts (or Tolima Airplanes) infuriate sceptics and delight alienists.
Whether you believe in ancient astronaut theories or not, even the most hardened sceptics cannot deny that some of the evidence presented by proponents is as fascinating, as it is frustrating.
Since visiting the Gold Museum in Bogota last week I have been studying my photographs of the infamous Tolima Airplanes. These objects have been the centre of a battle between historians and ancient alien theorists for almost 40 years but I have made a very simple, but quite remarkable observation which demands the casebook on these controversial artefacts is reopened.
These tiny golden artefacts measuring 2 to 3 inches (5 to 7.5 cm) were found in Colombia, where they were made by the Quimbaya civilisation between 1000 BCE - 1000 CE. Aesthetically they are very similar to modern airplane designs and this has led them to be considered as OOPArts (out-of-place artifacts.) In the opposing camp, sceptics believe they are simply stylised insects crossed with jaguars, bats and lizards, certainly not evidence of an alien visitation in pre-history.
Several other artefacts scattered about the Gold Museum can also be used to support the ancient astronaut theory. For example, the opposite photograph depicts a series of items which can be interpreted as wings. In support of this highly controversial argument in the 1980's a team of German scientists recreated each of the models and they all flew/glided perfectly. With so many aesthetic similarities to aircraft it would be unreasonable to claim you cannot understand why so many people believe these objects represent flying crafts. But my new observation reveals that there is another chapter to this story and both believers and sceptics must start again, because neither of their conclusions are currently correct.
I discovered these two fascinating artefacts located in another section of the museum, nearing the end of the exhibition. The reason that these two figures have passed under the ancient alien radar is because they are not displayed in the 'styalised insects' category. But they were discovered with the flying objects! Therefore, both sceptics and alienists must reinterpret the Quimbaya artefacts in context with these two figures. And conversely, the two figures must be reinterpreted with the Quimbaya artefacts.
To anyone brought up in the 70's or 80's the character on the right immediately looks like a robot or someone wearing a space suit with a flip up helmet. "Pilots, they must be pilots", will be the cry of many, and based on aesthetic evidence alone who could argue? However, to everyday historians and archeologists, with their feet planted firmly on planet Earth, these two figures, along with the flying objects might offer an insight into the spiritual dynamics experienced within ancient Shamanic ritualistic systems.
The argument will be that Shamans conduct/ed certain rituals using large doses of Ayahuasca and cocaine and at key stages within the hallucinatory experience they encourage their followers/trippers to visualise rivers full of "prehistoric flying insects". Shamans sometimes believed they had transformed themselves into birds, insects and winged beings. This is of little wonder when you consider the opposite photograph depicts a Shamans cocaine holder, which I estimate could carry about half a kilogram of powder - uncut! The Shamans claimed that coke helped them think and talk faster. Funny that. And like today, I bet two days into a ritual some of the villagers secretly suffered, believing the Shamans were simply out of their boxes talking utter nonsense!
But so long as its archeologists and historians who make the titles on the Gold Museum show cases, no matter what ancient alien theorists believe these two figures will undoubtedly be categorised Shamans.
The Gold Museum in Bogota is not the only place in South America harbouring OOPArts, for example in the Museo del Oro in San Jose, Costa Rica the opposite curious figure can be found. It can be argued that this artefact represents a Shaman with two nose bones, flying a bird, representing an important transcendental moment within a ritual. But without to much of a stretch of the imagination it can also be interpreted as an intergalactic traveller wearing breathing apparatus and gripping the controls of a flying craft.
I will leave it for you to decide what all this means, once you integrate it with your current personal belief systems. Through out this article I deliberatley remain impartial to either of the two possible conclusions. My personal beliefs will do no more than influence what is otherwise unbiased reporting. My goal is to provide new observations and evidence about ancient artefacts and civilisations which I hope, help people formulate their own conclusions. I would love to hear your interpretations of the two figures featured in this article.