Doug's Darkworld

War, Science, and Philosophy in a Fractured World.

1561: UFO Battle over Nuremberg

with 12 comments

A famous UFO case from 1561, illustrated above. And the text below it, the best translation I could find:

In the year 1561 on the 14th day of April in the morning between … [difficult special time phrase] … and … [difficult special time phrase], that is in the morning between 4 and 5 on the little clock, a very horrible vision showed at the sun when she rised and was seen at Nuremberg in the town and in front of the gate and at the countryside by alot of male and female persons. First the sun showed and was seen with two bloodcolored, halfround strokes like the diminishing moon right through the sun, and in the sun, above, under and on both sides stood bloodcolored and partly blueish or ironcolored, also blackcolored round orbs. The same on both sides and in circled plates around the sun – there were such bloodcolored and the other orbs in great numbers, standing three in a row, sometimes four in a quadruple, also alot as singles. And between such orbs alot of bloodcolored crosses have been seen, and between such crosses and orbs were bloodcolored strips, thick behind [“streyme hinden dick”] and to the front a bit smoother than … [ ? “hocken rho[?]”]. Mixed in between together with others stood two big tubes, one to the right and the other to the left [hand’s side], in those little and big tubes were three, four and more orbs. This alltogether began to fight [“streyten”], the orbs first in the sun moved towards the ones standing at both sides, so the ones, which were outside, moved together with the orbs out of the small and large tubes into the sun.
Also the tubes moved towards each other like the orbs and everything fought and battled [“gestritten und gefochten”] with each other nearly one hour long. And after the battle, which moved for a while into and again out of the sun from one side to the other most violently, exhausted itself by each other, everything (as drawn above) fell from the sun and the sky down to the earth like burning alltogether and vanished [“vergangen”] down on the earth gradually [? “allgemach”] in a big smoke. After such events something like a black spear, the shaft from sunrise [east] and the head towards sundawn [west], has been seen with big thickness and length.

[It follows a lengthy phrasal standard passage from a typical christian viewpoint of that time, about warning signs of Godfather, the sin of the non-believers and the awaited day of judgement etc. Not very related to the event as such, but there is a hint by Hans Glaser, that the “signs” in the sky were significant in quality and numbers in the recent time.]

And that’s that. What to make of this? Well, Ancient Alien theorists have all sorts of ideas about it, all revolving around UFOs battling it out in the skies. Google “Nuremberg UFO” and any number of theories pop up. Some sort of time slip and people witnessing a WW2 aerial battle have also been proposed.

What do I think? Granted I didn’t have time to fly to Germany and comb local archives, but from what I can tell the material is believed to be authentic. IE it really was a broadsheet from the times, and the woodcut made by Hans Glaser does depict the event in question, although it was made some four or five years after the fact. There also exists a second woodcut by an unknown artist apparently depicting the same event:

It doesn’t really add much to the story. And that’s the first problem, there isn’t much of a story. From two images and a broadsheet (newspapers hadn’t been invented in 1561) there isn’t enough information to come to any firm conclusions. Speculation is all well and good, but it’s just speculation.

Which brings me to my first point. Since it’s not much of a story, the first thing that needs to be done if for an archivist who specializes in the era to start going through records and see what else they can find. 1561 was awhile ago, but it wasn’t the Middle Ages, and there are buildings full of contemporary archival material. And there most definitely are Ancient Alien Theorists, Däniken comes to mind, with the money to hire someone to do just this. An event this spectacular should have left other records, and even one more contemporary account might shed light on the matter. That no one has done this is both a shame, and a sign that people like Däniken are only interested in making money off the topic, not actually researching it.

So in conclusion, no real conclusion can be reached. 1561 was not exactly an educated age, in fact it was very much an age of credulity and faith. “Miracles” such as this were not uncommon, this was by no means a one-off event. Only the fact that someone made a woodcut of this particular event is why it is so big in current Ancient Aliens theorizing. There are any number of spectacular and unusual atmospheric/weather/optical phenomena that could have inspired this sighting, confounded by the fact that people had no clue what they were seeing and thus interpreted it as they did. The fact that the second half of the broadsheet is a Christian warning very much leads one to suspect that people’s faith and belief in miracles may have influenced what they saw, and very much influenced how they remembered it. (It should also be noted that modern Ancient Alien theorists are clearly influenced by their beliefs as as to how they interpret this event.)

I keep hoping for an Ancient Alien or UFO story that is more than just anecdotal, but this one wasn’t it. An interesting story, I would love to know what people saw in the sky that day, but I suspect we will never know.

(The above images are still Public Domain under US copyright law, their creators having been dead some four centuries. Hans Glaser doesn’t even rate a Wikipedia entry, though some of his other woodcuts can be viewed here. Coming next, the Bolivian Stargate. Yes, it’s real.)


Written by unitedcats

March 13, 2012 at 10:20 am

12 Responses

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  1. Hi, Doug
    I’ve heard of this “ufo battle” before, but this is the first time I’ve seen a good translation of the original report and it instantly reminded me of a phenomenon known as a sun dog. If you go to the wikipedia article entitled Sun Dog you’ll find an image depicting aerial phenomena that appeared over Stockholm in 1535 which seem very relevant to the subject or google “Sun Dog Painting”.
    All the best Dorothy

    Dorothy Kahn

    March 13, 2012 at 1:11 pm

    • Yes, I took the time to track down a recent translation by a German speaker, rather than go by what was on the UFO sites. Original principles and all that. And agree, the Sun Dog images on Wikipedia certainly strike me as a plausible explanation. Thanks.


      March 13, 2012 at 3:38 pm

      • How about give the bloke who translated it some credit – like his name, even blog ID. Oh and your source might give this some credibility. You’re bordering on plagiarism… You didn’t come up with ANY OF THIS on your own. You were quick to whinge about copyright laws in the US but this is exactly their purpose: to stop ppl like you rehashing everyone elses work and vaguely infering you did research – on google by the sound of it because I have read my way through the blogs and sites too and unfortunately for you, I had just read all of these EXACT words, original post and thoughts of those on the site (it is the skeptics site, if anyone’s intetested). Are you a proponent of either argument or seeking to get someone to bite then go from there? You might have better luck if you were more ethical in your research and genuine in your own interpretation. I too can watch the history channel and google stuff…


        June 6, 2012 at 7:04 am

  2. […] really pretty disgusted by this one. At least with the things like the Nuremberg UFO woodcut, there is at least some mystery. This is just a previously unremarkable Inca ruin dressed up with […]

  3. Outside of the sheer fact of its own existence, this “news sheet” from 1561 is not supported anywhere in history prior to WWII. You see it was cleverly faked and planted after WWII by a man adept at this type of chicanery, (he concocted the Abelard Reuchelin/Piso Christ document, and the Helen Peters “Union Jack” expose of British Israel Theology, both available to read online free) a Jesuit named Revilo P Oliver, (ostensibly a racist american boor) who was doing secret work for the USA during said war (true story). He was Francis Parker Yockey’s handler and mentor and also Timothy McVeigh’s (Murrah fame) He also set up the Fascist secret “Gladio” sleeper cells that still exist in Europe to this day, the Kim Petras family are a Gladio Family

    These flying objext look like today’s “Big Black Delta’s” . To build up the belief in “Flying Objects” was a strategy doveloped in those years and still a current project up to this day. I think the “Agency” wants the people to belive they can travel thru time now (they cant). You find me one place this “news sheet” was supported in history outside of its own existence, because you wont. Revilo P Oliver was one of the 36 hidden Tzaddikim, he was Jesuit Jesuit Jesuit

    Simon R Humphries

    August 9, 2012 at 8:13 pm

  4. well from my alienology book it says ‘This incident was actually the battle for earth, as it is known, which the gray federation (famous alien species) was force to take on a number of repton attack ships (hostile alien species) in defence of the planet. Luckily for earth, the grays managed to force the reptons into a retreat.’ Now im not to sure about the story but i do believe the grays protecting earth due to many recent abductions of people having some sort of problem with there bodies and the following morning they wake up and feel as good as new. In an article i was reading on another website saying ‘The grays are helping us with technological advances because they have found something about or sun called the rate of expansion which means the sun will expand and heat up earth to 90 degress which will be unhabitable by human life and the grays have signed a contract with the u.s goverment which allows them to clone us into them but for the technological advice as the grays have no sex organs to reproduce. with technology the grays will provide we will be able to move to mars which will be warm enough (if the sun expands) by human life.’ i was thinking ‘ dont you think its weird that 100 years ago we was still in horse and carts but then like 60 years ago people have gone to the moon.’ now my personal opinion is that there are grays working with nasa and providing knowledge for us. most of this information was from my alienology book and was written by professor allen gray who had a gray contactie called alpha gray. this book was picked up by the MiB and taken in but the publisher has only a few notes to back up the information put in the book so the information may not be 100% accurate but i am pretty sure the grays are a real species and are helping us. thank you for taking time to read this :)


    November 13, 2012 at 1:02 pm

  5. I have another piece of information for you. The greys cant just give us light speed travel because our bodies need to adapt to the effects of it. Its like giving a cave man a space rocket there bodys need to adapt to the effects of g force. I also think they are giving us the information on how they managed space travel and now they are using fusion to try and increase the range and speed at which we can travel through space.


    November 22, 2012 at 12:11 pm

  6. […] called … Ancient Aliens. It’s inspired at least two blog posts on my part, here and here. Basically the series was very disappointing to me. It played fast and loose with the facts, and […]

  7. Link

    December 13, 2012 at 8:00 pm

  8. It is clear that those are being balloons this gentleman drew his cartoon of. Look at the bottom of the film to the right. Here you can see how he depicts the process of the balloons being turned on. In other words in this time the Church knew what Helium was though it was probably known by another name then. Balloons and their uses has been known for hundreds of years – and even thousands and especially in Tibet and Iraq though today´s Iraqi peoples have lost much of the previous access their ancestors had to information on balloon and kite design. Using balloons to deceive people has continued to this very day and the goal with this deception was to make people think that the skies were being torn asunder. The Church was being fearful of more people converting to Atheism and Animism and other more common sense oriented beliefs. And so it was ideal for Nuremberg to produce the Nuremberg ´sky battle´. You can see a balloon which looks exactly like the dark ones on this picture on the cover of the DVD of the now classic war epic ´Burnt by the Sun´. It is thus possible to repeat this ´sky battle´today. If you use enough balloons and take notice of the shape of the kites and design them accordingly you can produce your own Nuremberg ´sky battle´. I think this ´sky battle´is actually one of the best artworks of human design which have been produced in the history of western art. I find it sorry to know that so far probably none of these balloons survive today.


    September 26, 2014 at 11:25 am

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