Some people like to say that alien encounters are a recent phenomenon that are based off of the popularity of science fiction novels, television shows, and movies and the rumor of a crash landed UFO in Roswell, New Mexico during the 1940s which sent the world into an “Alien Age” where everyone became obsessed with extraterrestrials and UFOs. Many individuals like to simply shrug away these encounter stories as people who are seeking attention or are merely having intense dreams with images supplied by science fiction characteristics and concepts. Yet, these nay sayers clearly have not done their research. There are many accounts of UFOs and alien meetings in historic human records (indirectly described of course since these ancient did not exactly understand what they were seeing) that reach all the way back to the ancient Egyptian heyday from the fourteenth century BCE. The reports do not stop there. All through write ups and records in Europe there are some stories that definitely seem like alien convergences with random humans of the past.
One of the earliest found accounts of unidentified flying objects in the night sky comes from one of the oldest collections of writings that have been preserved into the modern age. Thutmose III reigned over Egypt from about 1504-1450 BCE. During his time of rule, a most peculiar event happened that he ordered be put in his personal annals so that it would be remembered forever after. Several scribes noted a circle of fire entering the night sky. Then, after a few days, these circles of fire became even more numerous in the sky (perhaps a fleet of flying saucers), shining almost as brightly as the sun. However, these circles then ascended higher in the sky on their move toward the south before completely disappearing.
Roughly two millennia ago, epic poems and religious texts were recorded in Sanskrit by the ancient civilization settled in the lands now known as India. These writings included numerous references to flying machines that were called vimanas. The vimanas were mostly chariots of the gods that began being made by Lord Brahma (engineer of the universe and head of the demigods) during the period known as “Treta-yuga” for himself and several of the other demigods. Vimanas came in different nature based shapes but all seemed to incorporate wings. The great seers of Vedic knowledge were also known to construct these machines for wise humans from the detailed instructions that had been written down—including what is known as a mercury vortex engine so that humans could nimbly travel through the skies like the celestial gods.
Many of the modern religions (the religions of Abraham as they are generally called) do not think of UFO sightings or alien encounters as anything to bother with since there is no mention of such things in their ancient religious texts—Torah, Koran, or Bible. However, in the Hebrew bible, the Book of Ezekiel mentions a vision of a flying vessel that is accompanied by smoke, fire, and loud noises just like our modern spacecrafts. The sky ship might have actually been an ancient encounter with extraterrestrials instead of a mere biblical metaphor.
The large expanse of the Roman Empire (through both physical land and extent of time) make it one of the easiest eras of history to study. During the fourth century CE, a Roman historian by the name of Julius Obsequens drew on the works of previous historian Livy and other sources at the time to compile a book of all the peculiar phenomenon of the Empire. His book (called Prodigorium liber) has several examples of what could be considered as UFO encounters throughout Roman history. The chronicler mentions that things like ships were over the Italian sky in 216 BCE, specifically at Arpi where there were round shields in the sky and figures like ships surrounded by fire where in the skies over Capua. A few hundred years later (in 99 BCE) over the Roman territory of Spoletium (which was located in what is now Umbria) it is said that a golden ball of fire fell from the sky. It rested on the ground, shaking, before it rose again to the sky and revolved toward the east. Later accounts of UFOs seen by residents of the Roman Empire go into even greater detail. In 393 CE, a bright globe appeared next to the planet Venus that shown less brightly than the planet itself but several smaller orbs soon joined the vicinity of the main sphere before they smashed onto the large, centered orb to create a single, bright flame that was bigger than the original celestial sphere. This description resembles very closely the modern reports of UFO formations from today—almost 1700 years later!
A term equal to our “flying saucer” was actually coined in Japan 700 years before the Western world used it. In 1180, a flying “earthenware vessel” that was unusually shiny was spotted near a mountain in the Kii province before it changed directions to vanish below the horizon, leaving a luminous, smoky trail behind it. One of the first official investigations of a UFO report comes from Japan as well. During an encampment of General Yoritsume and his army in 1235, mysterious lights in the night sky were observed for many hours to be circling and moving in loops to the southwest of the campsite. The General ordered a full scale scientific inquiry. Finally, an end report was submitted to him that contained many of the modern explanations of spacecrafts including the whole thing being a natural phenomenon whereby the wind made “the stars sway.”
Middle Ages of Europe
Just because the Roman Empire fell and dissolved does not mean that sightings of these celestial crafts ended. A preserved book, now residing in France, that was written in 1493 contains one of the earliest illustrations of a UFO in Europe. Next to the picture (showing a cigar shaped form ringed in flames floating in a blue sky over rolling green hills) is a detailed account of the strange fiery spherical shape that was reported in 1034.
Toward the end of the 12th century in England, there is yet another UFO sighting in north Yorkshire near Begland (Byland) Abbey. While the monks were having their daily evening reflection period, a shiny, flat object that glistened silver in color and closely resembled a very large discus flew across the night sky just over the top of the abbey.
Throughout the 14th and 15th century, countless UFO reports abound all over England. In 1322 CE, the sky over Uxbridge held a “pillar of fire” that was the size of a small boat. It rose from the southern sky then slowly crossed the sky before going north with beams of red flames and light bursting in front of it. 1461 CE saw another report across the Channel this time. The account was of a fiery iron rod shape in the night sky that was almost half the size of the moon. The shape which resembled a ship with fire flowing from it was in the skies over Arras, France for roughly twenty minutes.