An Overflight of the Nazca Lines

March 27, 2012 § Leave a comment

When I was in elementary or junior high school I remember watching a number of expedition related television shows. These programs would show movies taken on expeditions to far-flung interesting places around the world. One of those featured the mysterious Nazca Lines and if I recall was titled “In Search of Ancient Astronauts” or some such thing. Erich von Däniken had suggested that the lines in the desert of southern Peru were the work of extraterrestrial beings…it made a good story but no one seriously accepted it with the possible exception of a group of junior high boys in Ohio.

Extraterrestrials notwithstanding, the lines were mysterious and very intriguing. I never forgot them. When I had the chance to go to Peru and see these antiquities in person, I put aside my aversion to travel, renewed my expired passport, and told my family that I would go along too.

The second day we were in Peru there were two places available in a Nazca Lines overflight out of Pisco and we signed up for them. These flights are not for everyone; if I had spent much time thinking about it I might have backed out except for the fact that this was a big factor in my going to Peru in the first place. It is a couple of hours flight in a small single engine plane over some very remote desert areas. At the Lines the plane makes multiple passes over the individual figures, banking one way then the other, to give the passengers on both sides of the plane a chance to see them. Air sickness is expected…the seat backs have a generous supply of plastic bags.

I sat right behind the co-pilot and could look over his shoulder and see our altitude, etc. When we got to the Lines we banked around “The Whale” for my side of the plane first. I couldn’t see it and it evidently showed. I suddenly felt someone pounding on my left knee. I looked around to see that it was the pilot who then pointed directly to the geoglyph. Can you see it in the photograph? It’s just in front of the wing strut. Once I knew what to look for they were pretty easy. We were at the lines for nearly 25 minutes…ample time for anyone so disposed to lose their lunch.

Perhaps the Whale can be more easily seen in the photo below:

The Giant also sometimes called the Astronaut:

The Hummingbird:

More photographs will be added to a separate page later.

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