Pierce Thorne > Piercing Thoughts > Piercing Thoughts - Long Way To The Moon
|by Pierce Thorne|
Long Way To The Moon
Hmmm... I just found this...
Ancient Chinese Lunar Exploration
For Immediate Release, 4/1/2004
One-time airline pilot, now retired amateur historian, Bjorne Jaestedaeg, has gathered evidence that leads him to believe the Chinese explored the moon long ago.
"We [Europeans] think the Americans were the first ones there. I have proof that the Chinese beat them by several hundred years." The assertion, undergoing review by Sinologists and astrophysicists, has both its critics and its supporters.
"If we've done it, you can pretty much assume the Chinese can lay claim to it, too, only earlier," renowned Sinologist Shirley Hugh-Jest commented. "Gun powder, paper money, pasta, the printing press, and discovering the new world; these are all credited to the Chinese."
This last claim, the product of researcher Gavin Menzies, suggests that Chinese Admiral Zheng He discovered the new world seven decades before Europeans are said to have undertaken the journey, giving him the name "the Chinese Columbus."
"A trip to the moon isn't that implausible," Ms. Hugh-Jest went on to say. "The moon figures prominently in Chinese literature and culture—even their calendar is lunar-based—and this discovery only makes it more prominent."
Fabled General and Imperial eunuch, Long Wang He, is said to have undertaken the expedition, known as the Deng Lu Yue Qiu journey. He is reported to have commissioned the construction of a huge cylindrical Yue-chuan ("moon-ship") with a rounded top, and a flared base. More surprisingly: the emperor at the time was embroiled in a war with neighboring kingdoms and was unable to spare any soldiers, so the General is reported to have been given a crew consisting entirely of the Emperor's lesser concubines. Additionally, the Chinese understood that there was a vacuum in the space between the Earth and Moon, and the entire ship was protected by a tight-fitting rubber sheath that was rolled down after the ship was erected and ready to be launched at the lunar target.
"It's really remarkable that the US Space program would later develop a craft that bears remarkable similarity to the Chinese Yue-chuan. Wernher Von Braun could have saved thousands of hours had he known about these designs."
Further research is coming to light that phallic good-luck tokens, long held as a fertility symbols amongst the Chinese, are really commemorative icons of the ship used. There's an actively discussed question of whether pagodas also represent a stylized depictions of the space craft, or possibly prototype designs.
Common lore has the ship taking off during the night, under a full moon, because the moon was thought to be closer at the time, and "facing the earth." The ancient account discovered by Jaestedag corroborates this, and goes on to say that the voyage was "very bumpy" and "lasted all night long."
Once the craft landed, the General and concubines reportedly emerged to build fortifications around the landing site, as well as "four outposts, in an arc, to the west." Jaestedaeg's evidence claims to substantiate that they took along great wealth, "paving the streets with gold and jade." In light of this, astronomers now have a working theory why a Lunar eclipse resembles the modern Chinese flag (or rather, why the flag looks like the eclipse.)
General Long is said to have returned when the concubines revolted and refused to take the bumpy ride back with the general. The Emperor, having lost several battles, and now several of his concubines, had the general beheaded, and no further attempts were made to return to the moon.
It's not clear whether present-day China will re-assert its claim on the moon, though hushed whisperings within the party categorize it as yet another renegade province.