Dec 27, 2021 I Paul Seaburn

UFO Photo Said to Resemble the Famous 1561 Nuremberg UFO Painting

In 1561, a newspaper in Nuremburg, a city now a part of Germany, reported a mass sighting of celestial phenomena whose description sounds today like a battle among UFOs. In fact, that’s what many today believe, but the only evidence besides the eyewitness accounts is a woodcut engraving printed with the report. Recently, a photograph was posted on Reddit that some claim was of a UFO that strongly resembled the UFO in the Nuremberg woodcut. Coincidence or is another UFO battle about to begin 460 years later?

"We stargaze, like to take amateur pictures of the sky etc. I posted this on another thread and he said as the night mode was used to take the picture.”

Reddit user MassacreYKS ( claims it is actually two brothers who took the photo (see it here) and it was quickly circulated (no location was given) and picked up by tabloid media sites like The Daily Star and The New York Post, which magnified the lighted UFO and focused on one comment:

"Looks very similar to the objects in the Nuremberg UFO painting of the sighting they had in 1561.”

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The woodcut and text from a 1561 leaflet by Hans Glaser (public domain)

For those not familiar with the event, here are the highlights from the text by Hans Glaser, a printer, block-cutter and publisher who also created the woodcut, here on the highlights. On the morning of April 14, 1561, between 4 and 5 a.m., "many men and women" saw red semi-circular arcs in the sun and balls around it – some in a line and some alone. In between the globes were blood-red crosses connected by blood-red strips with more globes inside them. The globes suddenly began flying “back and forth among themselves and fought vehemently with each other for over an hour” before finally they “fell from the sun down upon the earth 'as if they all burned' and they then wasted away on the earth with immense smoke.” The last thing seen was “something like a black spear” pointed to the west, and the last thing Hans Glaser said was “For it, may God grant us his help, Amen.”

So, what did Nuremberg residents see on that morning in 1561 that was reported and drawn by Hans Glaser? Carl Jung, in his 1958 book Flying Saucers: A Modern Myth of Things Seen in the Skies, thought it was a natural phenomenon – possibly a sun dog which is a refraction caused by atmospheric ice crystals that makes three suns appear and occurs early in the morning. On the other hand, John Keel in his 1970 book Why UFOS: Operation Trojan Horse sees it being caused by extraterrestrials or non-human “ultraterrestrials.”

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Remember Nuremberg? Good times.

Taking another look at the blurry magnified image, one could see some similarities between it and the drawings in the Nuremberg woodcut. What do the actual witnesses, the Reddit brothers MassacreYKS, think?

“It keeps the shutter open longer and this is most likely a plane with two lights along the side and flashing red light in the centre. The camera shutter stayed open long enough to capture the middle light flashing."

A plane with lights. Disappointed? You shouldn’t be. The alleged sighting offers us a chance to revisit one of the most famous mass UFO sightings from a time when little was known about mysterious meteorological and space phenomena that could easily be attributed to UFOs or religious miracles. We don’t do that anymore, do we? Do we?

“For it, may God grant us his help, Amen.”

Paul Seaburn

Paul Seaburn is the editor at Mysterious Universe and its most prolific writer. He’s written for TV shows such as "The Tonight Show", "Politically Incorrect" and an award-winning children’s program. He's been published in “The New York Times" and "Huffington Post” and has co-authored numerous collections of trivia, puzzles and humor. His “What in the World!” podcast is a fun look at the latest weird and paranormal news, strange sports stories and odd trivia. Paul likes to add a bit of humor to each MU post he crafts. After all, the mysterious doesn't always have to be serious.

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