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


Bible Text &  Space Technology - D


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Chapter 5

Bible Text and Spacecraft Technology (Part E)

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

The first encounter

. . . A different solution will be discussed in Section 7.  [p.62] 


Now as I looked at the living creatures, I saw a wheel upon the earth beside the living creatures, one for each of the four of them.


As for the appearance of the wheels and their construction: their appearance was like the gleaming of a Tarsis stone; and the four had the same likeness, their construction was as though one wheel were within another.


When they went, they went in any of their four directions without turning as they went.


The four wheels had rims; and their rims were full of eyes round about.


And when the living creatures went, the wheels went beside them; and when the living creatures rose from the earth, the wheels rose.


Wherever the spirit would make them go, they went, for the spirit made them go; and the wheels rose along with them; for the spirit of the living creatures was in the wheels.


When those went, these went; and when those stood, these stood; and when those rose from the earth, the wheels rose along with them; for the spirit of the living creatures was in the wheels.

    Verse 15: The spacecraft has landed. The landing legs have performed their task and the commander can now deploy the wheels that will be needed for subsequent operations. The fact that the wheels could indeed be deployed and retracted is demonstrated through the following consideration: Permanently fixed wheels would have been located somewhat below and to the side of the cylindrical helicopter bodies during the flight maneuvers performed so far. In that position, because of their shape and size, they would have been much more conspicuous and recognizable than the landing legs and mechanical arms; beyond any doubt Ezekiel would have described them together with these structures. Moreover, with the exception of some misplaced Verses, Ezekiel describes all the parts he saw in the order that corresponds to the phases of the landing process. While not mentioned as such, these phases can very well be directly followed through the text. Ezekiel begins with the fire and the clouds of the braking phase; then he describes the helicopters during the aerodynamic flight, and the radiator of the reactor and the control rockets as the spaceship is hovering; he then observes the functioning of the wheels and the rolling on the ground. Thus, the wheels appear in the text at the very place where they become necessary from a functional point of view. This sequence is an additional confirmation that the wheels were retractable, and further proof of the accuracy of the description.

    Verses 16-21: As a first impression, the color of the wheels is described by a comparison with that of a mineral; in so describing it, Ezekiel draws a clear distinction between color and substance, because he explicitly says "like" the color of a Tarsis stone. Therefore it was quite clear to him that the wheels were not really made of Tarsis stone, but that its color was useful for their description.

    This reference or comparison material is identified as follows by the various translators: 


       1, 2
       3, 7

    Verse 1:16

    Tarsis stone
    beryl (with reference to topaz)

    All these minerals have more or less a common hue—from greenish to bluish. With all the discrepancies in names one can recognize a light green-blue or blue-green as the color of the wheels. The surface was very smooth since it is described as glittering. This is most probably the appearance of a coat of paint or of some filmlike coating intended as a corrosion protection. Synthetic film coatings of this type are now used on a large scale for temporary corrosion protection. Some of them have an appearance exactly like the one described by Ezekiel when applied to machined steel or aluminum surfaces.

    We know from the technical description why each "tire" is turned in itself while the wheel is turning as a whole. In the Appendix there is a description of a different wheel design, which includes additional drive disks that rotate to cause the separate turning of the tires. The "eyes" on the tires make the rotation even more conspicuous and underscore the independence of the movements from one another. The simultaneous rotation in several directions is confusing and a puzzle for a technically untrained observer. It creates the paradoxical illusion that there is more than one wheel in the wheel. Again, Ezekiel finds an unusually exact term by describing the appearance ''as though one wheel were within another." The common English translation "wheel within a wheel" conveys an even clearer picture than the wording in the version used here.

    Changes in rotation and direction occur in all four wheels simultaneously. They must give the impression that they are obeying orders. It is therefore only natural for Ezekiel to confuse, as it were, cause and effect; he considers the "living creatures" as those who move primarily and by whose side the wheels merely follow the motion. This is the mode of operation of the wheels he is familiar with. That the wheel itself can provide impetus for movement was unknown in his own time and for more than another two thousand years. Ezekiel's "spirit" is therefore much closer to the truth than he could ever have assumed.

    The text devotes particularly long passages to the wheels. On the one hand this is due to obvious repetitions, but, on the other hand, also to the fact that the wheels, despite their confusing movements, were the only components of the overpowering phenomenon which Ezekiel knew, at least in their elementary form, and the normal functions of which he was familiar with. But precisely because he had had experience with ordinary wheels, he was all the more puzzled by their astonishing ability to change direction without any turning. One distinctly feels how he mistrusted his own observation: Maybe, since there is no movement of the wheel relative to the cylindrical helicopter body, the whole unit can be turned? He examines it and arrives at the negative conclusion of Verses 9 and 12: "they went everyone straight forward, (And each went straight forward . . .) without turning as they went."

    As for the purpose of the rolling (hence of the wheels), no specific motive can be determined at this time and therefore only assumptions are possible. So it is conceivable, for example, that the commander may have wished to improve the position of the spaceship on an uneven terrain: His vehicle has four pairs of legs—two legs to each helicopter. Therefore it is much more sensitive to the unevenness of the ground than if it had only three pairs. This sensitivity is avoidable, however, by a correct design and can therefore not be regarded as the reason for rolling. A plausible explanation is provided by the assumption of a planned mobility on the ground. Such mobility would, of course, not be needed in the sense of a vehicular motion; it could, however, be welcome or necessary for the transmission of signals: For communication between two ground stations by optical contacts (light, laser beams), and also whenever high-frequency radio equipment is used, a linear uninterrupted optical line of communication is indispensable. With the help of the wheels such "fine adjustment" becomes possible.

    Verse 18 has different translations which read as follows in the texts I have used:   


    Verse 1:18

       1, 2

    Their rims and height were terrible; and their rims were full of eyes all around on all four wheels.


    The four wheels had rims and they had spokes; and their rims were full of eyes round about.


    No pertinent statement.


    They also had rims. I looked and behold—their rims were full of eyes all around on the four of them.


    As for their rings, they were high and they were dreadful; and they four had their rings full of eyes round about.


    The four of them had rims, and I saw their rims were full of eyes all around.

    This listing shows two groups, one of which speaks of the height and the dreadful aspect of the rims, while the other does not make such a statement. This difference is doubtless the result of the use of different original texts. The only translation mentioning spokes is Reference 3. However, all these discrepancies obviously do not affect the fundamental statements concerning the wheel.  [p.66] 


       Bible Text and Spacecraft Technology (Part E)