In Ancient Sumer, clay tablets describe visits of the gods. The gods fly in vehicles called Shems, or Mu, which are described as being tall rocket-like “rocks” from which fire flies. The visiting gods stay at temples, built by humans under the instructions of the gods, and are waited on. Certainly, the detailed descriptions of everything from who shakes hands with the gods first, to what food is served, and how the gods are carried back to their Shems imply that the Sumerians weren’t just expecting spiritual visitors, but physical beings from the sky.
In mythology it was not impossible to travel to the sky home of the gods and visit them. A Sumerian hero, Adapa, was so perfect that the god Ea decided to keep him alive forever by taking him up to the Heavenly Abode of Anu (a higher deity) where Adapa could eat the Bread and Water of Life.
In yet another Sumerian myth, the hero Gilgamesh travels to the landing place of the gods and is permitted to travel up to Anu’s Abode.
Sumerian tale of Nergal and Ereshkigal “Anu opened his mouth to say to Kaka: I will send thee, Kaka, to the Land of no Return, To Ereshkigal…thou shalt say: ‘Thou art not able to come up, In thy year thou canst not ascend to our presence, And we cannot go down, In our month we cannot descend to thy presence…’”
The Egyptian Book of the Dead “Behold, oh ye shining ones, ye men and gods…”
“I speak with the followers of the gods. I speak with the disk. I speak with the shining ones.”
The Egyptian name is “Benu” which means “the Ascending One”.
Egyptian King Pepi ascends: “As an imperishable star; Flies who flies! He flies away from you, O men! He is no longer upon earth; he is in the sky! He rushes at the sky like a heron. He has kissed the sky like a falcon. He has leapt skyward like a grasshopper.”
Ancient Egyptian legends tell of “Tep Zepi” or the First Time. This is described as an age when “sky gods” came down to Earth and raised the land from mud and water. They supposedly flew through the air in flying “boats” and brought laws and wisdom to man through a royal line of pharaohs.
Near the beginning of time, five Seminole Indian men wanted to visit the sky to see the Great Spirit. They travelled to the East, walking for about a month. Finally, they arrived at land’s end. They tossed their baggage over the end and they, too, disappeared beyond earth’s edge. Down, down, down the Indians dropped for a while before starting upward again toward the sky. For a long time they traveled westward. At last, they came to a lodge where lived an old, old woman. “Tell me, for whom are you looking?” she asked feebly. “We are on our way to see the Great Spirit Above,” they replied.
A Native American myth, one of the Blackfoot Indians, tells of how a maiden fell in love with the Morning Sun and was taken by him up to the Sky-Country.
The Indians of the American Southwest have legends of tall, fair-haired Beings. They also have legends about the ‘Little People’. Both are said to have ‘Sky Craft’ or ‘Saucers’.
Long before the world was created there was an island floating in the sky upon which the Sky People lived. They lived quietly and happily. No one ever died or was born or experienced sadness
Mayan mythology tells of four gods discussing, from their thrones in the sky, how they want to create creatures to enjoy the earth and worship them. They proceed to attempt to create creatures of dust, wood, and gold, all of which fail. Then the fourth god creates creatures out of his fingers. These fourth creations were humans and worshipped the gods as they were created, too.
The Mayans believed their predecessors came from the Pleiades. The Mayan Indians of Central America knew the earth was round centuries before the Europeans made this discovery. The Popol Vuh states that several gods, including Hunahpu, Xbalanque, and the great god-king Quetzalcoatl, returned to the stars after their earth life ended.
Quetzalcoatl appeared to the ancient Mexicans as a feathered serpent.
Naymlap, the leading god of the Indians of Ecuador, was “taken heavenward by the god of the speaking stone”
Early Chinese texts tell of long-lived rulers from the heavens that flew in “fire-breathing dragons”.
In Tibet there is a book called the Kantyua, which means “the translated word of Buddha”. It tells of flying “pearls in the sky” and of transparent spheres carrying gods to visit man. Here, too, the belief is of being reborn time and time again and not just to earth. The Royal Pedigrees of Tibetan Kings dates back to the seventh century. It states that the first seven Tibetan kings came from the stars and goes on to say that they eventually returned to the stars.
Haemosu came to Korea, a true Son of Heaven came down through the air in a five-dragon chariot.
Pak Hyok-kose the Founder of Silla: In Korea Chinhan had six villages, each belonging to a separate clan whose ancestor was said to have descended from heaven.
The Wei Shu tells that two thousand years ago, at the time of emperor Yao, Tangun Wanggôm chose Asadal as his capital. Hwanung wished to descend from heaven and live in the world of human beings. Knowing his son’s desire, Hwanin surveyed the three highest mountains and found Mount T’aebaek the most suitable place for his son to settle and help human beings. Therefore, he gave Hwanung three heavenly seals and dispatched him to rule over the people. Hwanung descended with three thousand followers to a spot under a tree by the Holy Altar atop Mount T’aebaek and he called this place the City of God.
Dead Sea Scrolls
The description of the Divine Throne-Chariot depicts the appearance and movement of the Merkabah, the divine Chariot supported and drawn by the cherubim, which is at the same time a throne and a vehicle.
In India it was, and still is, believed that man descended from gods who flew fiery crafts.
The Mahabharata: “The gods, in cloud-borne chariots…bright celestial cars in concourse sailed upon the cloudless sky.”