nasa bridge hoax

  People’s Democracy

(Weekly Organ of the Communist Party of
India (Marxist)




Hoax Of The NASA Bridge



THE recent story of NASA discovering a “mysterious
1.75 million year ancient bridge” is now clearly exposed as a deliberate fraud
by Hindu fundamentalists. It was initially propagated by
News Network an ISKON web site and was promptly hailed as a scientific proof of
Ramayana by Hindutva internet sites. Not much notice would have been taken of
such claims, which are after all periodic in the Hindutva sites, if PTI and
television channels had not picked up the story. Finally, the fraud was exposed:
NASA clarified that its pictures were neither mysterious nor new. These
pictures, taken from space borne cameras of the 30 kms long sandbanks, have been
around for more than six years and most certainly NASA did not certify them as


we examine this case of the Hanuman Bridge of Ramayana and the NASA pictures, we
need to delve into the mindset of the Hindu fundamentalists who are currently
attempting to use science in their claims of scriptural correctness. This
mindset believes that there is a deep-seated “western” conspiracy to deny
Hindus the rightful place as the most ancient civilisation. The
“proof” of this conspiracy is that there are a few “western” men
– David Frawley (initiated name Pandit Vamadeva Shastri) and Michel Cremo
(initiated name Drutakarma Dasa) — who are themselves saying that there is a
“western” conspiracy to deny Hindus their rightful place. Interestingly, in
the eyes of Hindu fundamentalists, who are puffed up with pride of their ancient
past, no Indian really counts. Only the white man, proclaiming the antiquity of
Hindu civilisation is to be taken seriously. All Indians who do not agree with
such white men, are followers of Marx and Macauly and are part of this
“western” and leftist conspiracy.

Ramayana controversy has all these elements. Old NASA photographs that have been
put in the public domain recently were used for this deliberate fraud. The
so-called Hanuman Bridge are sandbanks that extend from the island of Manaar,
near the NW coast of Sri Lanka to the island of Rameswaram. Some of these are
dry and no part of it has depth greater than 3 or 4 feet at high water, except
for three navigational channels. Some of these efforts for deepening and
widening channels were begun as long back as 1838. That NASA’s pictures should
show underwater sand bars connecting Sri Lanka and India is therefore not
surprising: that such structures exist is known from geologists to the humble
fisher folk of the area. We do not need NASA to tell us what is visible to the
naked eye.

has debunked that it had identified the structure as man-made. It is difficult
for a space agency from kilometres out in space taking photographs to identify a
structure as man-made. As if this absurdity is not enough, the original news
report also talked about NASA not only declaring the structure as man-made but
also precisely dating this to be 1.75 million years of age. And to cap it all,
NASA was even supposed to have declared human habitation in Sri Lanka to date
approximately to this time. All of this from outer space! In the eyes of Hindu
fundamentalists, NASA scientists must seem really super human: they can do from
outer space what their own archaeologists such as B B Lal cannot do on the




need for such fraudulent exercise comes from the Hindu fundamentalists need to
manufacture evidence for the Ramayana. Like all fundamentalists, they are not
happy  unless the epic is proved to
be true in every detail. If Rama was in the treta
, this must then be an event that took place 1.2 to 2.4 million years
back the supposed age of this yuga. We
give below the supposed age of the various yugas as per the scriptures.

Sat Yuga –
1,728,000 years

Treta Yuga
– 1,296,000 years

Dwapara Yuga
– 864,000 years

– 432,000 years

problem with the age of the yugas is
that it then suggests that human beings were around from Sat Yuga and therefore for millions of years. Yet the fossil record
is very clear. The Homo sapiens have
been around for about 150,000 to 180,000 years. Homo erectus emigrated out of Africa about 750,000 years back and
even the hand axe had not been discovered 1.7 million years ago, the supposed
time of occurrence of Ramayana.

need of fundamentalists all over the world is similar: all of them find
evolution supported by the fossil record runs counter to what is written in the

In the case of the Christian fundamentalists, the age of all living beings
cannot be older than 6,000 years and of course God created the first man and
woman. The Muslim fundamentalists also support the Adam and Eve myth and
therefore deny evolution. The Hindu fundamentalist dates are different from that
of the other fundamentalists: They consider humankind to be around for at least
3-4 million years. All of them therefore share the need to demolish the
scientific evidence of the fossil records and human evolution.

creationists in the USA have been trying for the last hundred years to stop the
teaching of evolution in schools. Failing this, their attempt has been to give
equal time to creationism as another theory on par with the theory of evolution.
The battle between Christian fundamentalist creationism and scientists in the
USA has been a long drawn out one. The famous Scopes monkey trial in early 20th
century where a biology teacher was charged with blasphemy for teaching
evolution is by no means over. Kansas and Ohio, amongst others, have been trying
to get another “theory” called “Intelligent Design” (God as the
Intelligent Designer) as a counter to the theory of evolution.


is the same debate that is now reaching India. Just as the fundamentalists there
tried to get various parts of scriptures enter the schools, the fundamentalists
here have attacked the school curriculum. The Ramayana epic and its historicity
is obviously a major issue. After the
Ramjanmabhoomi “movement”, it is necessary to focus Ramayana as more than
just an epic, which may or may not have historical basis. The method here is
also similar: the Ramajanmabhoomi – as per the VHP – is a matter of faith
and not of proof. Similarly, the chronology of Ramayana must also be a matter of
faith. If science is an obstacle to such claims, then science must be
And if it can be done using science itself, then so much the

is this method that Michael Cremo uses to try and establish that Hindu
scriptures are fully accurate in their chronology. This comes up against the
current fossil and record of human evolution. There is not only the fossil
record, but also the record of human development: their tools. All this has to
be dismissed, for Hindu fundamentalists to push back the date of human evolution
and for the Christians to push it up. Interestingly, both have borrowed
extensively from each other in their attempted demolition of science. For
example, Dr Dennis Bonnette at the University of Niagra, authored a creationist
book titled “Origin of the Human
“: the paleo-anthropology chapter was based on and drawn from
Forbidden Archaeology” of
Michael Cremo.

is Michael Cremo, who is the most likely originator of the current NASA hoax? He
is a member of the Bhaktivedanta Institute that has been set up by ISKON. His
objective is to fuse religion (Hindu religion) and science to produce a new type
of consciousness. However, if we read his writings, it is clear that his use of
science is pre-determined. He already knows what he has set out to prove and
only looks for “evidence”, however outrageous it may be, to prove his case.
Thus, oddly shaped stones found in any gravel bed become ancient stone tools.
Argon and radio carbon dating is attacked: the list is tiresome and long. With
this method we can prove that humans came from outer space – remember von
Deniken and Chariot of the Gods – or
any other conclusion we want to come to. Once we know what we have to prove, we
can always find the “evidence”. And if such evidence is not available, a
willing Rajaram will be quite happy to manufacture one. After all a small matter
of missing horses was not going to stop the Rajaram (his collaborator and
co-author is David Frawley) and his ilk from discovering one in Harappan seals
and claiming the Harappan civilisation as Vedic!

enough, the American converts to Hinduism are immediately considered exalted.
Frawley, who by his own admission is close to VHP and has met with the senior
RSS leaders gets all the RSS luminaries in attendance when he visits and
“lectures” here. For the information of the readers, David Frawley runs an
Institute called American Institute of Vedic Studies
and provides astrological consultations and runs correspondence courses
on astrology.  Similarly, Michael
Cremo is equally exalted. He has met with Murli Manohar Joshi to discuss the
Drwarka marine archaeology attempt to date an alleged sunken ancient city off
the Gujarat coast. This is in spite of having no expertise in archaeology of any

scientific community in India is not aware of the kind of attack that the Hindu
fundamentalists are planning on the entire educational system. The current
changes in the NCERT textbooks are only symptomatic of this mindset. The aim
here is to subvert the method of science and substitute instead with belief in
myth and prejudice. It is this mindset that proclaimed that sun revolved around
the earth and punished Galileo. It is the same mindset that suggests that the
scriptures must be correct and science wrong if human beings as we know them
today have arisen only 150,000 -180,000 years back. And it is the same belief in
scriptures that leads a Giriraj Kishore to claim that the life of a cow is much
more important than the life of five dalits. And unless the scientists are
willing to join the fight against this distortion of education, and knowledge we
are likely to lose the battle for a better future.