The Spaceships of Ezekiel
Are there Flying Saucers in the Bible?


Bible Text &  Space Technology - B


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Chapter 5

Bible Text and Spacecraft Technology (Part C)

(Part B)
Go to Chapter Part: A B C D E F G H J K L  Comments

The first encounter


In the thirtieth year, in the fourth month, on the fifth day of the month, as I was among the exiles by the river Chebar, the heavens were opened, and I saw visions of God.


On the fifth day of the month (it was the fifth year of the exile of king Jehoiachim),


The word of the Lord came to Ezekiel the priest, the son of Buzi, in the land of the Chaldeans by the river Chebar; and the hand of the Lord was upon him there.

    Verses 1 and 2: Already in his introductory verses Ezekiel demonstrates his inclination toward accurate definition by giving the exact date of the first encounter. It is the fifth day of the fourth month of the fifth year after the deportation of the Jews of Chaldea which is the year 593 or 592 B.C. His additional mention of the thirtieth year is sometimes considered as a reference to the age of the prophet, but the commentators are not unanimous on this point. Ezekiel's attention is drawn to the spaceship by the firing of its rocket engine. As we have seen, the firing of the engine reduces the descent velocity of the spaceship to a rate low enough for the helicopters to take over the rest of the flight until the landing. The blast of the luminous plume of the engine must indeed have given Ezekiel the impression that "the heavens were opened."  [p.54] 

    Verse 3: As explained later, the words "the hand of the Lord was upon him there" always introduce—as a kind of leitmotif—the encounter with the spaceship and its commander.


As I looked, behold, a stormy wind came out of the north, and a great cloud, with brightness round about it, and fire flashing forth continually, and in the midst of the fire, as it were gleaming bronze.


And from the midst of it came the likeness of four living creatures. And this was their appearance: They had the form of men,


But each had four faces, and each of them had four wings.


Translation error Their legs were straight, and the soles of their feet were round; and they sparkled like burnished bronze.

    Verse 4: Before the rocket engine can be ignited, the whole system of suction lines, pumps, etc., must be cooled down to the low temperature of liquid hydrogen in order to achieve the necessary working conditions.

    This is done by forcing liquid hydrogen under pressure from the tank through the system. Hydrogen is eventually discharged into the atmosphere as a very cold gas. The water contained in the air (in the form of humidity) freezes into ice crystals and becomes visible in the form of a cloud—as it may sometimes be observed in highflying jets. The duration of this chill-down process depends on the size of the engine, but lasts at least for many seconds so that a sizable cloud can be formed. The main body of the spacecraft that falls into this cloud, so to speak, forces it by its shape to flow radially outward, and thus the vehicle actually looks as though it were coming out of a cloud. As a result of the high descent velocity this cloud is visible over a considerable area when the engine is ignited.

    Those who have seen the start of a Saturn rocket on television or film, or those who had the overwhelming experience of actually witnessing it, seeing it with their own eyes, can understand how aptly Ezekiel has described the optical effect of the plume Nobody will ever forget the "fire flashing forth," the "brightness round about it," a shine ''as it were gleaming bronze". Incidentally, it is only in this Verse 4 (besides Verse 1: "the heavens were opened") that Ezekiel describes the operation of the rocket engine—that is, the landing after a descent from an orbit around the earth. In all later encounters he saw the spacecraft only as a helicopter.

    Verse 5: Ezekiel sees the four shapes in "the midst," that is, seemingly inside the fire, for two reasons. First one must realize that, contrary to the Saturn which flies upward away from the plume, for instance, the spaceship observed by Ezekiel falls downward, that is, into this cloud. Portions of slower but still hot outer zones of the plume encompass the vehicle, which makes it seem to be surrounded by flames. The second reason derives from the location of the spot where Ezekiel is standing relative to the trajectory of the spaceship, which contributes to the impression that the shapes are in "the midst of it." As shown by the following events, the spaceship lands at a short distance from him. Thus, as long as the rocket is firing, Ezekiel sees the spaceship coming almost directly toward him, which means that he sees it from below. This position enhances even more the impression of a firestorm surrounding the approaching vehicle.

    In this and in the following verses Ezekiel describes what he saw; he does not describe the phases of the flight. At the moment of the (unmentioned) cutoff of the engine, the spacecraft is still some 3000 feet from where he stands. At this distance—and even somewhat farther—Ezekiel can already distinguish the "likenesses." The helicopter bodies, in combination with the rotating blades, first prompt him to choose the expression "living creatures," which is truly excellent in all its lack of precision. Ezekiel sees these living creatures in the midst of fire, which means that the engine is still in operation. Thus he confirms that the helicopters were deployed into their operating position before the engine was cut off. As the spaceship approaches, he is able to distinguish further details pertaining to the "living creatures," which prompt him to compare them to "the form of men." But this is only a passing impression. Now and until the end of the encounter he will refer to the helicopters with the fittingly vague expression "living creatures."

    Verse 6: The spaceship is now at a low altitude or hovering above the ground. At any rate the observer is close enough to see the four blades of the rotors and to recognize various structural details which, to him, look like faces.

    Verse 7: The description of the landing legs with their straight shock absorbers and their round footpads is altogether unmistakable (Figs. 1, 2, and 4).  [p.56] 


       Bible Text and Spacecraft Technology (Part C)