The New Viman
Theosophist, March, 1881
A plan has just been submitted for the consideration of the Odessa Branch of the Imperial Technological Society for an aërial ship, which does not require a gas balloon for the purposes of flight. The inventors of the new apparatus, Messrs. Henrizzi and Von Offen, allege that they have discovered a force which can be made to counteract the force of gravitation. The aërostat is of the following dimensions: 40 feet long, 24 feet broad, and 16 feet high. Its general form is conical, it being of the same construction as the ship “Boogshprit.” It is set in motion by two screws of the machine, the principle of which is still a secret of the discoverers. The whole weight of the apparatus, the engine included, is about 400 lbs. The material for its construction is prepared by Henrizzi and Von Offen, and is also as yet a close secret, and the most important of all the secrets. The engine and the compartment for luggage are situated in the lower part of the ship. The engine is a two-forced one and moves and is claimed to propel the vessel at the rate of 40 feet a second. The greatest advantage of the new air-machine over all others which have been submitted until now, consists in its moving not only with but against the wind; and also that in case of any breakage in the machinery, it does not involve any danger to the passengers, as it never could drop suddenly to the earth, but would, in case of accident, gradually descend, or be made to support itself for a certain time in the air, and even continue moving for a short distance either forward or backward.
The apparatus, it is affirmed, can be raised at will and to any height one likes, and the amount of luggage it takes depends only upon the stowage capacity.
The Odessa Branch of the Technological Society found the idea of the new aërial vehicle very feasible, and, given the above designated force and weight, to promise certain success. The Society confirmed and endorsed the assertions of the discoverers that no injury to the machinery could compromise the safety of the passengers or the principles above enunciated. At the suggestion of the Society, the inventors submitted their project to the Minister of War, the new air-ship being intended solely for military operations. A considerable sum of money was awarded to the two inventors to enable them to begin the work of construction immediately.
This example of the incessant progress of modern scientific discovery will be all the more interesting to the reader since it comes as a timely supplement to Col. Olcott’s lecture on India and emphasises the fact that the Aryans were, indeed, our progenitors in most of the useful arts.
The Russian war authorities in devoting a large sum for the construction of the new war aërostat, show what great importance they give to the invention. But by turning to the Indian lecture and noticing what the Brahmachari Bâwâ says about the Vimâna Vidyâ of the Aryans [see “Some Things the Aryans Knew,” The Theosophist, June, 1880], it will be observed that Messrs. Henrizzi and Von Offen have yet a deal to learn before they can supply airships in which contending armies can fight battles in the air, like so many war eagles contending for the dominion of the clouds. And the art of war must be far more perfected than now before an army can be annihilated by artificially induced poisonous mists.