Harking back to those days of my youth, filled with whimsy excitement and the thrill of the possible, I remember avidly reading tales of “daring do”and experiencing paradigm shifts in world events. The portentous Cuban Missile Crisis, the moon landings, the trauma of the Kennedy assassination, Flower Power & Height Ashbury, the Black Panther movement, Daniel Ellsburg and the “Pentagon Papers”, the Vietnam farrago, Nixon’s impeachment. There was so much of significance that occupied ones attention.

One tiny element in the maelstrom of events was a book written by a guy called Erick von Daniken called, “Chariot of the Gods”. In it he described the lines of Nazca here in Peru. His theory’s (subsequently derided and ignored) ascribed these lines and pictorial representation drawn in the sands of Nasca on a huge scale as a messaging and landing strips for alien space craft!! One can imagine how this would catch the imagination of an impressionable youth such as I. Having divested, and put aside my youthful whimsey….those enigmatic expressions in the desert were still beguiling. Therefore finding myself here, in Nasca, I had to see them for myself. So, I did. IMG_0959The Nazca people endured from 100BC to 800AD. The Nazca culture is famous for its desert line drawings. At ground level, they cannot be discerned, but from a higher elevation, they can be seen forming coherent  drawings, usually of animals. There are in total 12 figures.[8][Nazca Lines]] are geometric shapes comprising kilometers of lines and large drawings of animal figures (some as big as a football field), built on the desert floor. UNESCO declared the Nazca Lines a World Heritage site in 1994.
IMG_0962Rather disconcertingly, the Cessna that we were due to fly in had developed an engine fault and wouldn’t start. However, another aircraft was arranged and we got airborne. We climbed to 3000 ft. and headed out to the desert.
The images on the ground were truly amazing. Simply from a design and integrity of shape over such a huge scale. How could Nazca people keep that integrity so consistent over such a distance without an elevated view (such as we had in an aeroplane)!!!IMG_1016IMG_1009The whole area has been a focus for study ever since they were discovered by pilots in the 1930’s surveying for water.A writer by the name of Jim Woodman believes that the lines and figures could not have been made without somebody in the air to direct the operations. “You simply can’t see anything from ground level,” states Woodman. “You can’t appreciate any of it from anywhere except from above. You can’t tell me the Nazca builders would have gone to the monumental efforts they did without ever being able to see it. “http://www.unmuseum.org/nazca_monkey.nazcanazca_monkeynazca_bird