According to mainstream archeology, the pre-columbian Quimbaya culture were believed to live in South America from 300 to 1550 CE and are best known for their precise gold and metalwork. The majority of gold pieces discovered are made with a tumbaga alloy with 30% copper, very similar to those accounts mentioned by Plato in his dialogues about the lost city of Atlantis. Among the intricate gold works are several types of insects and two devices that stand out to be aerodynamic in nature and shaped like no other insect known to exist. The ancient pieces look very much like the designs of modern airplanes and incorporate a number of features essentially proving the Quimbaya knew and understood the principals of flight. Scale replicas of the golden flyer were built five times larger and tested precisely. Results from testing in 1994 proved these ancient mysterious airplane shaped devices were capable of flight, and actually flew very well without any sort of modifications using modern techniques.
Modern researchers have mixed beliefs about the Quimbaya civilization, and their presumed knowledge of flight based on gold artifacts. There are arguments regarding this theory over the lack of building materials necessary to make flying machines hundreds of years ago along with the absence of modern engines, and that landing strips for the golden fliers have not been discovered. It's entirely possible for artifacts to be moved around from place to place in the ancient world, especially if they fell victim to a more dominate people, or the cultures migrated for survival over time. The artifacts do exist, and they might help clarify another interesting ancient phenomena not too far from where the Quimbaya once lived. Certain parts of the Nazca lines are believed by some researchers to resemble ancient runways. Quimbaya golden artworks were often buried with the dead as a token necessary for prosperity in the afterlife. Examining the cache of available artifacts it becomes evident the Quimbaya created artworks based on interpretations of real objects and people. The golden airplanes could be evidence of an ancient culture's knowledge of flight well before modern times - Or they could represent of an extinct species of insects.
There is also an alternative concept to consider with artifacts such as the Golden Flyer, be it through cultural influence from an outside civilization. Today we find a distinctly intriguing phenomena which takes place after a remote culture is visited for the first time with modern technology present. Isolated tribes visited in both Africa and South America by airplane have both demonstrated shifts in religious beliefs after the visit. One of the tribes welcomed the plane on its second visit with ceremonial fire and statues constructed in the shape of the airplane. Tribes people even went so far as to line themselves along a runway path to greet the visitors. If remote cultures exhibit this sort of behavior during the world's modern technological era, then likely the same concept has played out before. From this angle of thinking, theories then suggest the Quimbaya may have been influenced by another ancient culture, or perhaps, some sort of alien civilization.
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