Either by extra-terrestrial influence or by their own independent invention, the Uru conquered the air, as this and the following chapter will show.
Rising up out of the granite hills of the Glen Innes district, in the vicinity of megalithic stone arrangements that lie scattered about the countryside, is a kilometre of so length ‘tabletop’ hill. Carved into a large boulder at one end is a strange symbol: a human-bodied, winged, bird-headed figure.
Similar winged, human-bodied figures are commonplace at open, flat summit of hills lying among the old terraced Uruan structures standing southwest of Sydney, in the Campbelltown district, and upon clifftops and high tabletop areas throughout the nearby Blue Mountains. They also occur upon tabletop summits of hills and mountains across the Australian continent, including Tasmania.
They are images of the ‘Bird-Men’ of Uru, the first humans to begin the conquest of the skies. Some Blue Mountains rock art shows there were ‘Bird-women’ too. These rock engravings show that, over 15,000 years ago, employing the simplest materials, the Blue Mountains Uru had taken to the air in the earliest hang gliders built on earth.
It is significant that traditions of these “birdmen and women” are preserved by Aboriginal tribes with Uru-sounding names Australia-wide.
Thus the tribespeople of the Murinbata tribe of the Port Keats district north of the Fitzmaurice River, Northern Territory referred to the “Brolga-Men”, who leapt into the air from high places and flew from billabong to billabong, for they found it easier to fly than walk to these water holes! The Murinbata people preserve traditions concerning the “great flood” that once covered the land, and how the Bird-Men escaped it by flying to higher ground where they remained until the waters receded.
Huge boulders that stand about the countryside hereabouts – often in apparent formations – were, tribespeople believe, erected as part of great rock walls to keep the floodwaters away! This tradition has to be of considerable antiquity, for it describes the flooding caused by the rising seas towards the close of the last great ice-age, around 12,000 years ago.
One particular clan of these winged warriors of Uru were called the “Eagle-Men”. They inhabited the Fitzmaurice area, as well as the Daly River further north, and were claimed to have introduced fire for cooking among the primitive ancestors of the present-day Aboriginal tribes of the region, who in those long-ago times did not possess this art. Similar traditions of “Bird-Men” introducing fire, as well as other technology to the tribespeople occur Australia-wide, wherever weathering megalithic stone arrangements stand.
In imitation of the flight of I-na, the Eagle of the Sun, at the height of ceremonies in his honour, held at cliff, hill and mountaintop temples and shrines dedicated to him, men boldly leapt into the air, to glide over valleys and open plains.