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Some claim that the hot air balloon was actually invented some 74 years earlier by the Portuguese priest Bartolomeu de Gusmão. A description of his invention was published in 1709, in Vienna, and another one that was lost was found in the Vatican (circa 1917). However, this claim is not generally recognized by aviation historians outside the Portuguese speaking community, in particular the FAI.
Unmanned hot air balloons are popular in Chinese history. Zhuge Liang of the Shu Han kingdom, in the Three Kingdoms era, used airborne lanterns for military signaling. These lanterns are known as Kongming lanterns (孔明灯).There is also some speculation that hot air balloons were used by the Nazca Indians of Peru some 1500 years ago as a tool for designing vast drawings on the Nazca plain.A method of making objects float in the air on their own accord by means of hot air is discussed by the 11th century C.E. Jewish scholar Rashi in his commentary on the bible "Even were you to fill an eggshell membrane with dew and close up its opening and place it in the sun, it will, on its own, rise into the air"