Sky Vehicles from Ancient Egyptian Texts

A palimpsest (overwritten) inscription from the temple at Abydos
which was once thought by many to represent ancient aircraft


There are certain Egyptian texts that are so old the ancient Egyptian scribes copying them could not fully understand them nor the terminology being used. The texts contain puzzling, enigmatic statements which remain a challange for modern Egyptologists attempting translation today. Some are ritualistic, making them even more difficult to comprehend. Others seem relatively matter-of-fact, yet these present real problems for those who believe the ancient world possessed only limited, half-primitive, technology.

At first glance the following quotations might seem like standard, or common, mythology much like mythological stories and/or religious concepts of ancient cultures around the world. But upon giving them a closer look, certain strange, out of place, unexplainable details come to the forefront, making such a judgement quite difficult. We will examine only a few of them on this page.


Unas was the first pharaoh of the 5th dynasty (2356-2323 B.C.). The walls of the burial chamber in the Unas pyramid contain hieroglyphic inscriptions from the floor to the ceiling—the most ancient of the famed Pyramid Texts. The Unas texts are written in an old dialect of Egyptian containing many words obscure even to the ancient Egyptian temple priests, and are generally believed to be handed down from predynastic times. The Unas texts mark the next-oldest mention of the god Osiris—the oldest being the Palermo Stone.

Concerning these inscriptions, E. A. Wallis Budge, former Keeper of Egyptian and Assyrian antiquities at the British Museum, observed: "Judging from the Pyramid Texts, the priests of Heliopolis borrowed very largely from the religious beliefs of the predynastic Egyptians. . ." (Budge, 1934) And in a later work the same author further states:

"The earliest texts bear within themselves proofs, not only of having been composed, but also of having been revised, or edited, long before the copies known to us were made; and, judging from many passages in the copies inscribed in hieroglyphs upon the pyramids of Unas . . . it would seem that, even at that remote date, the scribes were perplexed and hardly understood the texts which they had before them." (Budge, 1960)

The so-called "utterances" of the Pyramid Texts contain perplexing statements and nomenclature. Some of the utterances are suggestive, to say the least, that certain early Egyptian personages may have possessed technologies little understood by Egyptologists today—thus some of the translations of these texts may sound clumsy, outlandish, or occasionally nearly incomprehensible. But before we get into this element of the texts, let's take a look at another early, particularily suggestive, tradition.


There is a very ancient Egyptian legend concerning Osiris and a so-called Ladder to Heaven. According to Egyptologist Wallis Budge, belief in a "ladder" as a means of reaching heaven is very old. A tradition carried down from predynastic times stated that even Osiris himself was obliged to ascend into heaven by this Ladder: "Ra stood on one side of it and Horus on the other, and they lifted Osiris up the Ladder step by step." (Text of Unas, 1. 579.)

One can't help but be reminded of the ladder set up between heaven and earth, which so startled the biblical patriarch Jacob when he awoke from his sleep to observe "angels ascending and descending on it". (Genesis 28:12) Since this event occurred at night, the ladder beheld by Jacob must have been brightly lit—presumably from light streaming through an "open door" in the heavens. In the ancient Egyptian texts such "doors" also play an important role.

This "sky-ladder" technology was sometimes called the "Osiris device"—also the Ta-Wer (pronounced tower) or "Bond Between Heaven-Earth"—and it functioned as a "stairway" by which one (not only gods, but mortal kings as well) occasionally made their way to the stars. Isis is depicted in some of the paintings as operating the Osiris device, assisting in the ascent of the god Osiris into the region of the imperishable stars. Moreover, the tale, according to Egyptologists, includes the following rather curious detail:

Osiris was said to be the very first to climb this "sky-ladder," which extended downward from the heaven to earth, but which was said to have dangled from an "iron plate" suspended in the sky. (Hoffman, 1991) One wonders what a modern reader might think if the text had used more specific terms—like "gangplank" and "metallic disk"! According to various texts, it was only by the utilization of this Ladder that the ancient Egyptian kings, such as Pepi I, were allowed to ascend into the sky and join the gods.

"The gods who are in the sky are brought to you, the gods who are on earth assemble for you, they place their hands under you, they make a ladder for you that you may ascend on it into the sky, the doors of the sky are thrown open for you . . ." (Translated by Budge, 1904)

Had the "doors of the sky" mentioned been translated "hatch" (without over-stretching the translation), a far different image could have emerged. (Keep in mind my earlier warning concerning the uncertainty of these texts, as well as of the resultant translations.)

Among the texts cut into the walls of the Pyramid of Pepi I is the following passage, which asserts that the earthly candidates ascended bodily into the starry realm, that is, their "ascension" is described as physical!

"Give thou unto Pepi the Ladder of the god . . . whereby Pepi shall appear in heaven, when he hath made use of the words of power of Ra . . . Hail ye, who desire that your bodies shall go into heaven . . . Hail, brethren of the gods, rejoice ye, for Pepi journeyeth among you." (Text of Unas, 1. 579)

In yet another text from the same pyramid the heavens are mentioned in a context which sounds as if outer space itself (or better yet, the numberous worlds there) is being referred to:

"Isis saith, Happy are they who see the father . . . the father of this Osiris Pepi when he cometh forth into heaven among the stars and among the luminaries which never set." (Recueil de Travaux, i, V.)

Acccording to Budge (1960) the Papyrus of Ani, which clearly contains a vignette of the Ladder, has no explanatory text accompanying it; but the Theban Recension, even though no such vignette is in evidence, contains several quite definite allusions to the Ladder:

"The god Shu hath made me to stand up, the Light-god hath made me vigorous by the two sides of the Ladder, and the imperishable stars make me to advance and lead me away . . ." (Chapter XCVIII)

And once again, the images presented reminds one of the biblical appearence of Jacob's Ladder, with its brightly lit steps extending down to the earth's surface. It almost seems to be describing an airship, "hovering" overhead, with light streaming down the gangplank from its brightly lit "windows" and wide open entranceway.

The aperture of the celestial windows is open! The Stairway to Heaven is open; The Steps of Light are revealed [or, lit up! just as in the case of Jacob's "dream"!] . . . (Dungen, 2012)

Another of the Pyramid Texts (re-translated from French) reads as follows:

"Hail to thee, O Ladder of God . . . Stand up, O Ladder of Horus, whereupon Osiris [once] went forth into heaven . . . Thou hast given him the Ladder of God . . . whereupon this Pepi hath gone forth into heaven . . . Pepi hath gone straightway into heaven by means of . . . the Lord of the Ladder." (Etudes de Mythologie et d' Archeologie, i, I.)

And according to Budge's translation, the following text has the candidate Nu rising up into the sky to join the "Star-gods"—and in order to accomplish the act, being admitted through "doors". One is impelled to ask: Do the doors mentioned in the text represent a wide open hatch in the "suspended iron plate," through which the magic "Ladder" is allowed to be "set up"?

I rise up like Ra . . . I fly like a hawk . . . I rise up like a god . . . I advance to the realm of the Star-gods . . . and the doors of the sky are unbolted before me. I set up a Ladder to heaven [to ascend to the gods], and I am a divine being among them." (Aat Text XI, Chapter CXLIX)

Ra in the form of Khepera in the Solar boat Madjet


Of the so-called "utterances" of the Unas Pyramid Texts (and there are over six hundred of them), many of them contain expressions and terminologies so old and obsolete that even the professionally trained scribes of that day hardly knew what to make of them. Here is one such example.

Utterance 669: "Wherewith can the King be made to fly up?' [The answer follows] "There shall be brought to you the Hnw-bark [untranslatable] and the . . . [text missing] of the Hn-bird [untranslatable]. You shall fly up and alight." (Hoffman, 1991)

We find that the Utterance texts also make reference to the Ladder to Heaven, which is described as "the stairs to the sky, which are laid out for the king, that he may ascend thereon to the heavens." Utterance 586 has Khnum(?) providing such a Ladder for the king's ascension.

Up-uat, who is Opener of the Ways, hath opened a way unto him; Shu the Sky Bearer hath lifted him up, the Gods of An make him ascend the Ladder and set him before the Firmament of the Heaven; Nut [the sky] extends her hand to him." (Dungen, 2012)

Just as in the Osiris texts, the Utterance texts also mention "doors" (sometimes even "double doors") which allow the King to enter the celestial realm:

Utterance 422: "The double doors of heaven are opened for thee, the double doors of the sky are opened for thee . . . Thou risest, O Pepi . . . equipped as a God." (Dungen, 2012)

In the passage immediately below, the King's flight is accompanied by a visible flame (a rocket?) as he, seemingly at will, navigates his way to and fro through the atmosphere immediately above the surface of the earth. However, the exact nature of this device ("way of ascent") is never clearly defined.

Utterance 261: "The King is a flame, moving before the wind to the end of the sky and to the end of the earth . . . the King travels the air and traverses the earth . . . there is brought to him a way of ascent to the sky . . ." (Emery, 1987)

The texts also say of Osiris, "The sky thunders, the Earth quakes . . . when You ascend." (Pyramid Text, 549) And here is another example of a flame, or more precisely a "blast of fire," mentioned in direct association with flight (the "two skies" referred to are the Egyptians' "eastern" and "western" skies).

Utterance 322: "I have ascended in a blast of fire having turned myself about. The two skies go with me." (Hoffman, 1991) [Ever notice that when ascending in an airplane the distant horizons seem to rise along with you?]

In the long Utterance given below, the King is not merely skyborne! He quite possibly makes what we today would call "orbits" around the Earth during his rather lengthy flight:

            "He encompasses the sky like Ra,
            He traverses the sky like Thoth . . .
            He has completely encircled twice the heavens,
            He has revolved about the two lands . . .
            The king is a falcon surpassing the falcons;
            He is a Great Falcon." (Dungen, 2012)

A verse further states that the King "crosses the sky like Sunt [untranslatable], which crosses the sky nine times in one night"; but the meaning of "Sunt" remains a total mystery. The Pyramid Texts have the King seeking to attain a dwelling place in the so-called sacred land of Abtet:

"May I ascend and lift myself up to the sky as the great star into the midst of Abtet." (Text 1038)

Whether the transporting device is called a bark, a barge, a boat, a ferry, or some sort of bird, one thing is made clear. Its most desirable attributes seem to be: (1) the ability to take off; (2) fly through the air; (3) land successfully.

Utterance 310: "What ferry-boat shall be brought to you?" [The candidate answers] "Bring me: 'It-flies-and-alights'." (Emery, 1987) [In other words, "Bring me the vehicle that can both take off and land!"]

One thing is quite noticeable among these quotations: they are not the result of only one translator—some glassy-eyed nut who is trying to prove a preconceived agenda. There are several translators involved, and they are all well recognized authorities in ancient Egyptian culture, religion, and sacred texts. That is, they are singularly qualified Egyptologists. This author is not trying to "prove" anything, but merely finds the content of these old texts highly suggestive.

Whatever these strange texts mean, one thing is clear: they often contain internal elements which make it difficult to look at them and interprete them as purely religious. A "blast of fire" would not be necessary merely to propel the soul of a deceased one to heaven; neither should traveling "through the air" from one end of the earth to the other inside some sort of "device" be intrinsically involved in a spiritual "arising". No religion that I am aware of requires devices that are able to take off, maneuver through the air, perform orbits around the planet, and make landings, simply for the deceased to reach their heavenly destination.

The statements, as old as they are, seem to be relating to a technology once possessed by gods and kings (i.e., the Egyptian "elite") sometime in the dim beginnings of Egypt's cultural past. The texts themselves aren't as old as Atlantis, but the technologies represented could very well be. We are fortunate indeed to be in possession of these treasured old texts. Maybe someday their meaning will be better understood.


Over the stone markers which were laid up around Akhenaton's city at Tel el-Amarna, it is said that the God Aton appeared in person to the Pharaoh Akhenaton in the form of a "huge shining disk" which came to earth at the precise site where the new city was to be constructed (Perry, 2009). Question: Did Akhenaton choose the sun-disk as his god because of the mere outward appearance of an extraterrestrial sky-ship? The following Egyptian text may apply to that, or a similar, event:

"This happened, the result of which also was recorded . . . The very appearance of a DISC REFULGENTE on the part of the enraptured Amenophis, happened while the Pharaoh was on a lion hunt, and being in broad daylight, their eyes fastened on a DISC REFULGENTE . . . thus this document." (Re-translated from French)

The Disk of the Sun (Aten) extending its rays

Amenophis is the Greek form of Amenhotep. Although Amenophis is usually associated with Amenhotep I, the text doesn't say which Amenhotep was involved in this particular experience. Thus, the possibility exists that it could be Amenhotep IV, the pharaoh who changed his name to "Akhenaten" because of the "shining disc" experience described immediately above.

Just a few things for you to think about, my friends.


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Latest update: 6 Oct 2012.