Documented UFO Encounters From Antiquity:


Before “Project Bluebeam” (Part 1)



by Arjun Walia 


BA in Philosophy from the University of Waterloo, BEd from the University of Toronto. Writer/journalist for the past 15 years. Passionate about sharing information on a variety of topics, as you can tell!



Strange unknown objects along with the appearance of beings have been well documented for hundreds and thousands of years. This article presents a few examples.




In 1803, a round vessel drifted ashore on the Japanese coast and a woman emerged, wearing strange clothing and carrying a box. She was unable to communicate with the locals, and her craft was marked with mysterious writing. This story of an utsurobune, or “hollow ship,” in the province of Hitachi (now Ibaraki Prefecture) is found in many records of the Edo period (1603–1868). Image via Wikimedia Commons. (Main Image)


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“The most beautiful thing we can experience is the mysterious. It is the source of all true art and science.” – Albert Einstein


“Project Bluebeam” refers to an unsubstantiated theory which postulates the use of highly sophisticated technology that creates holographic projections which look extremely real.


Many people believe the UFO phenomenon to be a result of this, used by the elite to stage sightings around the world. Others tend to believe the phenomenon is a real physical one that’s created and perpetuated by the elite for ulterior motives. And of course, others believe that the phenomenon is real, nuanced, and involves agency on the part of non-human intelligent life.


It’s plausible to assume that governments, and those who exercise control over them, will lie when relaying information about UFOs to the public. At this point it’s impractical to expect a holistic and accurate portrayal of global issues and events from governments and mainstream media.


What we usually receive is a false narrative that serves the interests of the few in power. I wouldn’t be surprised to see UFOs, or as they’ve been rebranded, “Unidentified Aerial Phenomena,” be subjected to similar treatment. Perhaps this includes a “threat” narrative that isn’t entirely accurate or indicative of the phenomenon.


What many “Project Bluebeamers” don’t take into account is the fact that sightings of mysterious objects date back thousands of years. The phenomenon is quite old, and modern day sightings seen by people from all walks of life and professions share definite similarities to those documented hundreds and thousands of years ago.


Certain aspects of the phenomenon, such as the heat felt and reported by witnesses who have come in close proximity to such objects, have not changed much over the centuries.


For example, on December 15, 1547, historian Simon Goulart writes in his Trésors Admirables et Mémorables de notre Temps (1600) that on that day the sailors who were aboard ships in the harbor of Hamburg saw a fiery globe. It rolled towards the north and emitted so much heat that people couldn’t remain on their ships. A meteor some might say, but meteors are too high in the atmosphere to be felt and would have passed overhead in seconds. Sailors would never have had time to run away, abandon ship or take cover. Thousands of such incidents have been recorded in both antiquity and within the past 50-100 years.


Another case from 1520 AD in England recorded by Lycosthenes in his Prodigiorum ac Ostentorum Chronicon documents that “a colossal beam of fire was seen in the sky. Approaching the earth, it burned many things with its heat. After this, it ascended into the sky again and was seen to change its shape into a circle of fire.”


This account above not only includes heat, but a shape-shifting characteristic as well which is quite common among modern day UFO sightings.


Dr. Michael A. Persinger, an American-Canadian professor of psychology at Laurentian University, observed that for thousands of years and within every known human culture, normal individuals have reported brief and often repeated ‘visitations’ by humanoid phenomena that are associated with strange flying objects.


In a book entitled Out of this World: Otherworldly Journeys from Gilgamesh to Albert Einstein, Professor Couliano, editor in chief of the journal Incognita and professor of the history of religions at the University of Chicago at the time, made it clear that observations of UFOs and contact by beings from beyond the Earth is mankind’s oldest story.


‘We can only imagine what purpose lies behind the activities of these quiet, harmlessly cruising objects that time and again approach the earth. The most likely explanation, it seems to me, is that they are simply watching what we are up to.”


– Margaret Mead. “UFOs – Visitors from Outer Space?,” Redbook, vol. 143, September 1974.


Encounters from Antiquity


In a manuscript titled Contra Insulam Vulgi Opinion de Grandine et Tonitruis (ca. 816), Agobard of Lyon (c. 779–840), a Spanish-born priest and archbishop of Lyon (France) during the Carolingian Renaissance has a section devoted to an issue of “cloudships.”


In this document, the Archbishop of Lyons complained about a persistent belief among the French peasantry regarding a “certain region called Magonia from whence come ships in the clouds.” Magonia refers to the name of the cloud realm where aerial sailors were said to have come, according to commonly-held beliefs at the time.


The Archbishop was a well respected philosopher and “rationalist.” He devoted a good part of his life, including several books, condemning and attempting to debunk superstitions and heretical beliefs.


“We have seen and heard many people crazy enough and insane enough to believe and to state that there exists a certain region called MAGONIA, out of which ships come out and sail upon the clouds; these ships (are said to) transport to that same region the products of the earth that have fallen because of the hail and have been destroyed by the storm, after the value of the wheat and other products of earth has been paid to the ‘Tempestaires’ by the aerial navigators who have received them.”


He continues,


“We have even seen several of these crazy individuals who, believing in the reality of such absurd things, exhibited before an assembled crowd four people in chains, three men and one woman, said to have fallen down from one of these ships. They had been holding them bound for a few days.


The idea of such things existing angered the church, but we have records that clearly show a strongly held belief amongst the lay population that this realm did indeed exist. This is not just a folklore tale, it involves an exact reference of a known and respected historical figure who has written extensively on many other subjects.


Unfortunately, there is no access to statements and proofs on the other side of the argument, we can’t know what the cloud ships looked like and why the witnesses thought that the three men and one woman had come from these ships, and why they were stoned to death. Perhaps the church destroyed these accounts? Who knows.


Jacques Vallée reports that Agobard saved the lives of these four poor people. If he did, why don’t we have an account of their thoughts? It’s noteworthy to emphasize that the only account we have of this is of a high ranking priest from the Catholic Church who was hellbent on debunking “superstitious” phenomena.


Another example comes from 13th century England. In the year 1211, Gervase of Tilbury, a chronicler of historical events and strange unexplainable phenomena, wrote the following:


“There happened in the borough of Cloera, one Sunday, while the people were at Mass, a marvel. In this town is a church dedicated to St. Kinarus. It befell that an anchor was dropped from the sky, with a rope attached to it, and one of the flukes caught in the arch above the church door. The people rushed out of the church and saw in the sky a ship with men on board, floating before the anchor cable, and they saw a man leap overboard and jump down to the anchor, as if to release it. He looked as if he were swimming in water. The folk rushed up and tried to seize him; but the Bishop forbade the people to hold the man, for it might kill him, he said. The man was freed, and hurried up to the ship, where the crew cut the rope and the ship sailed out of sight. But the anchor is in the church, and has been there ever since, as a testimony.”


Tales like the two above have strange correlations with more recent ones.


For example, on the the nights of June 26 and 27, 1959, on the coast of Papua New Guinea, a young Anglican priest named William Booth Gill and twenty-five of his Papuan parishioners had what they perceived as a close encounter with multiple UFOs hovering at low altitude. During this encounter, men-like beings that moved about the upper surface of one disk-shaped craft made attempts to communicate with the observers.


Clouds, which were at about 600 metres, eventually obscured the vessel as it drifted higher. It had been stationary through most of the 25 minutes of this encounter. The same day of this encounter, the phenomenon extraordinarily returned in the evening.


Gill, and the others who witnessed this event, described “men” emerging onto the deck of the ship. Gill and the witnesses watched four human like figures appear. Two smaller UFOs were seen at this time as well.


“On the large one, two of the figures seemed to be doing something near the centre of the deck – were occasionally bending over and raising their arms as though adjusting or ‘setting up’ something (not visible)…One figure seemed to be standing looking down at us (a group of about a dozen). I stretched my arm above my head and waved. To our surprise the figure did the same. Ananias waved both arms over his head then the two outside figures did the same.”


– Gill


In the Bible, it states that Prophet Ezekiel saw a strange flying object that consisted of “wheels within wheels.” In it were four beings. He was suddenly transported to a mountaintop without knowing how he got there. He was stunned. This experience is indeed reminiscent of many contemporary reports by people claiming similar contact.


“Then I looked, and behold, a whirlwind was coming out of the north, a great cloud with raging fire engulfing itself: and brightness was all around it and radiating out of its midst like the colour of amber, out of the midst of fire. Also from within it came the likeliness of four living creatures. And this was their appearance, they had the likeliness of a man. Each one had four faces, and each one had four wings.”


In 1552, Conrad Lycosthenes (8 August 1518 – 25 March 1561), born Conrad Wolffhart, an encyclopedist, Deacon of Saint Leonard in Basel, and professor of grammar and dialectics, wrote about an event that took place in 213 BC in Hadria, Italy.


“At Hadria, an altar was seen in the sky and about it the forms of men in white clothes.”


Edouard Biot, a French engineer and sinologist published work in 1846 documenting astronomical observations in China during much of its history. In it, he catalogues various UFO sightings in China from antiquity. For example, this one comes from May 24, 12 BC, describing a large hovering object.


“In the first year of the Yuen-yen period, at the 4th Moon, between 3 P.M. and 5 P.M,. by clear sky and serene weather, a sound similar to thunder was heard repeatedly. A meteor appeared, the front part the size of a vase, over 100 feet long. Its light was red-whiteish. It stood far to the SE of the sun. It threw off fiery sparks on four sides, some as large as a pail, others the size of an egg. They fell like rain. This phenomenon lasted until the evening.”


This is interesting because meteors do not stand still for hours and do not litter the landscape with “fiery rain.”


Another example from his work published in 1846 includes an experience by the army of Emperor Hou Chu. They saw a red object with pointed rays that flew over them three times.


He writes that in 814 (location unknown), a luminous object appeared, lit up the ground and many other small objects emerged from it.


In the Annals of Ulster, annals of medieval Ireland that span the years from 431 AD to 1540 AD, it states that “Ships, with their crews, were seen in the air above Cluain Moccu.”


Jules Garinet, a French lawyer and jurist, in his Histoire de la Magie en France published in 1818 writes that during the reign of Pépin le Bref (715-768), many extraordinary phenomena were said to have appeared in the skies above France. The air was allegedly full of human figures and ships, with several individuals during that time claiming aerial beings had abducted them.


An 835 document titled Vita Hludowici Pii imperatoris, documents that in 827, while Pepin I was at war in Spain, objects in the sky appeared and emitted lights that were pale and red in colour.


On June 1554 in Ien, Germany, a large number of spheres and disks flew over the city of lena. They had sudden variations of speed and turned to a red color as they flew north. (Mathias Miles, Siebenbürgischer Würgenengel (Hermannstadt, 1670).


On June 28 1548, approximately 25 flying “vehicles” were seen by witnesses coming and going above the houses. (Bruno, Weber, Wunderzeichen and winkeldrucker, 1543-1586)


Well known author and sculptor Benvenuto Cellini, via his Vita, 1558-1566, Book 1, 89, states: “On horseback, we were coming back from Rome. Suddenly, people cried, ‘Oh God what is that great thing we see over Florence.’ It was a great objet of fire, twinkling and emitting enormous splendor…”


According to Benedictine chronicer Benedetto Lushino’s book Vulnera Diligentis, in 1513 famous sculptor Michelangelo saw a triangular light with three tails of different colors. He painted a picture of it but it has not survived. It was silvery, red, fiery and bifurcated.


On January 5, 1433 in Nice, France, a luminous globe appeared in the sky for several hours. (G. Trade, Soucoupes volantes et civilisations d’outre-espace, 1969).


Jacques Duclercq, legal advisor to Philippe 111 wrote about an incident on November 1, 1461.


“On this day of Our Lord, All Saints Day, there appeared in the sky an object as bright as burning steel, as long and wide as half of the moon. It was stationary for fifteen minutes. Suddenly, the strange object began to spiral upwards and then it spun around and rolled over like a loose watch spring, after which it disappeared in the sky.”


– Mémoires de Jacques du Clercq, sur le Règne de Philippe le Bon, Duc de Bourgogne, publiés pour la première fois par le Baron de Reiffenberg, Tome 111 (2nd ed., Bruxelles, 1836), 189.


On October 27, a glowing “earthenware vessel” was seen moving through the sky in different directions between the mountains of Kyushu, Japan. It flew off to the northeast towards Mount Fukuhara. It changed course abruptly, turned south and disappeared with a luminous trial. (Sobeps: Société Belge pour 1’Etude des Phénomènes Spatiaux. Inforespace 23; Brothers III. 1964).


In 438 an interesting record from Constantinople, Turkey is recorded.


“In the midst of the entire crowd, a child was suddenly taken up by. a strange force, so high into the air that they lost sight of him. After this, he came down as he had gone up, and told Patriarch Proclus, the Emperor himself, and the assembled multitude that he had just attended a great concert of the Angels hailing the Lord in their sacred canticles.”


Most of the city bore witness to this event, and it’s still told today. It’s a story that’s been collected and published by writers for many centuries.
Final Remarks


This article is getting to be a little long. The issue with writing about such sightings is that there are literally thousands of them recorded throughout history.


The ones presented in this article are only a select few and may not even be the best examples.


The point is, these objects have been seen and continue to be seen today. They don’t appear to be the product of humans, and it’s interesting to note that our interpretations of these strange events seem to be influenced by our dominating collective beliefs that were prominent at the time of the sighting.


Stay tuned for part 2!


Sources used:

Wonders in the Sky: Unexplained Aerial Objects from Antiquity to Modern Times, Dr. Jacques Vallée.

The Edge of Reality: Two Scientists Evaluate What We Know of the UFO Phenomenon, J. Allen Hynek, Jacques Vallee.

UFOs and the National Security State: The Cover-Up Exposed, 1973-1991, Richard Dolan.

All other sources are listed within the article itself.



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