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UFOs in Works of Art

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posted on Dec, 27 2005 @ 10:34 PM
Frequently images from throughout art history are presented as evidence that extraterrestrials exist and have been making contact with human kind throughout the history of our species. On a couple of recent threads on topics related to extraterrestrials these images have been posted without any attempt at identifying the original paintings. Despite requests by me for this information, simple matters such as the paintings' titles, the names of the artists, the era the works were created in, and the art movements associated with the paintings, no additional material was provided. This omission, a major taboo in art history investigation, made it pretty clear that the people presenting these images were not qualified to be making definitive assessments about what they depicted and why. While a general appeal to reason is enough to demonstrate how unreliable any drawn or painted image is as evidence of anything, the fact that I could not directly explore the enigmas of the so-called Renaissance UFOs persisted in troubling me. So I decided to see if I could do some research of my own in order to comprehensively account for these paintings.

Here are some images recently presented on the thread: I Think Jesus Was An Alien, Don't You?


Identifying all of the images posted on that thread was easy enough and I will be dealing with all the images presented in that thread in due time. I wanted to begin with these particular images as well as one frequently presented but not on that particular thread. The above images in order are:

1 Carlo Crivelli "The Annunciation" 1486CE National Gallery London Venetian Renaissance
2 Aert DeGelder "The Baptism of Jesus" 1710CE Fitzwilliam Museum Cambridge Flemish Late Baroque
3 Frequently attributed to
Filippo Lippi, but likely the work of
Sebastiano Mainardi or Jacopo del Sellaio "Madonna and Child with the Infant St.John" 15th century Italian Renaissance
4 Bonaventura Salimbeni "Glorification of the Eucharist" 17th century Italian Baroque Church of San Lorenzo in San Pietro
5 "The Death of Yeshua (Jesus)" 17th century Byzantine fresco Svetishoveli Cathedral Mtskheta, Georgia
6"Crucifixion" 16th century Byzantine fresco Visoki Decani monastery, Kosovo

I will discuss the above momentarily but I wanted to start with another painting frequently cited as evidence of extraterrestrial contact. Usually the image supplied looks like this:

This is a detail of the much larger "Le Tebaide" or "The Secrets of Eremite Life" c.1460 by Paolo Uccello, an early Italian Renaissance Florentine painter. The painting is displayed at the Academy of Florence.

I wanted to start with the Uccello painting because the truth of the image is so very telling of just how simple a shape or object can be imagined to be a flying saucer. The red object to the lower right of the crucified Christ is held to be a flying saucer. The large painting depicts various scenes of monastic life and images of the lives of certain saints who inspired the monastic movement. This particular scene, centrally located in the composition, depicts St. Jerome living as a hermit within a grotto, praying to the image of the Crucifixion. The trees in the background of the image below the St. Jerome scene superimposes onto the grotto and in poor reproductions it makes it appear that the "red saucer" shape is mean to be in the sky. Here's a better view of the St. Jerome scene:

Seen clearly it is quite obvious that the object in question is within the confines of the grotto, sitting upon the floor, and rather small. It is Jerome's discarded cardinal hat, with visible flaked cords. In Christian iconography of the era it was common to depict St. Jerome in this manner. For example, in the depictions by Heironymous Bosch and Albrecht Durer:

Hieronymus Bosch "St. Jerome at Prayer" 1500s Dutch Northern Renaissance Musée des Beaux-Arts, Ghent, Belgium

Albrecht Durer "St. Jerome in the Wilderness" 1495 German Northern Renaissance National Gallery London

All the rest of the UFOs are as easily identifiable. They are no longer unidentified and as you have seen, many are not really flying objects.

posted on Dec, 27 2005 @ 10:46 PM
Thanks for posting a really great thread!

A good read. I agree that there must be tons of art that gets hopelessly misinterpreted. Yet , having seen a UFO myself in person in 2002 , I also have to think that there are some UFOs present in some of the Art throughtout Human History.

There is a good site you can checkout that does identify the Art it presents , . I noticed many of the Artwworks in question originate from that site.

posted on Dec, 27 2005 @ 11:47 PM
Next we'll deal with image 1 and 1b of the above post, Carlo Crivelli's "Annunciation". The reasons why some would feel this image depicts UFO contact is obvious but once again most of this confusion lies in poor, blurry reproductions. It is in no way uncommon for Annunciation scenes to feature a ray of light descending from the sky to contact the Madonna. What appears here to be a flying saucer is in fact an illuminated cloud within which are two rings of golden angels. This is quite clear in better reproductions:

Essentially the same can be said of the Aert DeGelder's (a rather obscure artist) "Baptism of Christ". The image as provided in the above post is extremely poor. In a better version the circular field in the sky is obviously occupied by a white dove, a standard symbol of the Holy Spirit. As an aspect of the Holy Trinity it is wholly normal that it is depicted within a luminous circle. Representing divine entities with radiant disks or halos is common in iconography of many cultures and religions. A clearer image again makes this easy to see:

Image 3, "The Madonna and Child with the Infant St. John" is one of the most frequently demonstrated examples of UFOs in Renaissance art. This is due to the apparent saucer object to Mary's left, highlighted in the post above, as well as to an image of a star with three smaller stars, flames or figures below it, to Mary's right:

Seen close we can see that they are certainly not figures. This painting is clearly incorporating images from the Nativity. The stars and the UFO, actually a luminous cloud, are actually very old symbolic elements utilized in Nativity scenes. Their inclusion in this painting may indicate that the painter was involved in a movement in Florentine painting of the time to revive antiquated, rigid modes of Christian iconography. They are found prevelantly in works between 400 and 500 CE. The fact that a man and his dog look up at the object does nothing but support this fact. This is the Announcement to the shepherds as described in the Gospel of Luke (Linus' speech from the end of "Merry Christmas Charlie Brown"). The man is a shepherd. Typically, and in Luke, an angel made the Announcement. Renaissance artists, however, drew from many sources for their symbols. One potential source for this exact depiction may be
The Apocryphal Gospel of James, which featured a Nativity account with a luminous cloud replacing the angel.

Salimeni's "Glorification of the Eucharist" (image 4) is an amusing image to behold because it looks so very much as if Jesus and God the Father are holding onto the Soviet satellite Sputnik. It is actually rather easy to explain. For starters a clearer image would help:

Now we can see that what they are holding is not a metal satellite but a globe depicting the medieval Christian conception of the Universe. In images of the Trinity it is not an unusual element. Briefly, the conceptualization of the Universe was that of a sphere surrounding the fixed plane of the stationary Earth. You can easily see the sun depicted on the surface of the globe, between the "antennas". The light blue circle near Christ's left foot is taken to be some kind of porthole or lens, but it is really the moon. The lines on the sphere that may read as seams are important astronomical markers, like the ring of the zodiac. What appear to be antennas are no such thing. They are wands, frequently shown being held in images such as this by God, Christ or both. In this instance, as in others, the wands are apparently being used as pointers, as if the divine figures are presenting a lecture on their creation.

Images 5 and 6 are both Byzantine style Crucifixion frescos and their explanations are closely related. The image provided for the Svetishoveli Cathedral scene is awful and almost impossible to read. Weird forms on either side of the cross are described as UFOs, flying jellyfish, or both. Again a better image is revealing:

These giant faces obviously are a step removed from an image of a flying saucer, yet even when that detail is obvious many still insist these forms refer to extraterrestrials. In fact most Byzantine era Crucifixion scenes feature two sky-bound objects flanking the cross. They are the sun and the moon, often represented with a human face or by a human figure, a fact that should come as a surprise to no one. This sun, cross, moon configuration is also found outside the Byzantine style. It was common in medieval scenes through the Early Renaissance, becoming rare after the 15th century. Often the personification of these celestial objects makes reference to their pagan conceptions found in Persian or Greek myth. The sun is always on the right side of the cross and the moon upon the left. With this knowledge at hand we can reexamine the fresco from the Visoki Decani monastery and find that it depicts nothing unusual at all. The angular stylization of the Byzantine aesthetic is being wrongly read as vehicular forms. Surprisingly the post of this image on the "I Think Jesus Was an Alien, Don't You?" thread did not have a blow up of the moon character, so I have provided one here:

Analyses of further images are forthcoming. Those who can not wait to learn the truth for yourself, can visit the excellent:

Art and UFOs? No Thanks, Only Art...

My source for this project. On the website you will find dozens of examples of images that support these explanations. Enjoy.

posted on Dec, 28 2005 @ 12:04 AM
Lost Shaman,

Thank you for your kind words. I'm glad you enjoyed my presentation. I visited Mr. Hurley's site in preparation for this thread and it was rather useful. You will not find an image on "UFOartwork" site that is not dealt with by the "Art and UFOs? No Thanks, Only Art..." site I linked to. Your personal experience not withstanding, I am certain (a word I rarely employ) that there are no depictions of UFOs as we understand them in art before the 1752 publication of
Voltaire's "Micromegas", the precursor of the modern science fiction story and a subject I will be returning to in forthcoming posts. Voltaire's work had major effects on Western thought. Those interested in this important piece of the puzzle can read it online:


[edit on 28-12-2005 by Cicada]

posted on Dec, 28 2005 @ 12:55 AM

Originally posted by Cicada
Lost Shaman,

Thank you for your kind words. I'm glad you enjoyed my presentation. I visited Mr. Hurley's site in preparation for this thread and it was rather useful. You will not find an image on "UFOartwork" site that is not dealt with by the "Art and UFOs? No Thanks, Only Art..." site I linked to. Your personal experience not withstanding, I am certain (a word I rarely employ) that there are no depictions of UFOs as we understand them in art before the 1752 publication of
Voltaire's "Micromegas", the precursor of the modern science fiction story and a subject I will be returning to in forthcoming posts.

While I tend to agree with you that much UFO Artwork is likely not UFO Artwork , having seen one myself and knowing that hundreds of thousands of people all over Earth report seeing them every year and also knowing that UFOs can and are seen and captured on film by NASA , I personally believe there are many depictions of UFOs throughout history. Going back at least to the time of Alexander the Great.

It was only seven Months ago that Brazil acknowledged keeping files of UFOs in their Airspace since 1954.

But maybe they are just disillusioned because of the Great Works of Fiction also.

posted on Dec, 28 2005 @ 01:13 AM
I say it everytime a UFO artwork thread pops up, most "UFO's" in old art are used as symbolism.

They usually represent the sun and the moon.

Although, cave drawings etc... that is a different story.

posted on Dec, 28 2005 @ 06:03 AM
Instead of making the same threads over and over, its best to do a search because there is already a thread about these very images and tons more already... and blahblabh blahb..balhblah.

posted on Dec, 28 2005 @ 06:42 AM
But Cicada already told you what it was

You have voted Cicada for the Way Above Top Secret award. You have used all of your votes for this month

[edit on 28-12-2005 by saint4God]

posted on Dec, 28 2005 @ 03:25 PM
Yes, these are paintings of UFO's. What you have to do is look at the evidence in total. What some of these painters were trying to paint is the Clouds in the Bible and the Clouds in the Bible are UFO's. This is actually quite remarkable, because these painters painted UFO's without even knowing what they were painting. They were just following the description of the Cloud that's in the Bible. In the Bible the Cloud Hovers, Glows in the dark, takes people up into it and a voice comes out of the Cloud. These painters were just painting various descriptions of flying spacecraft in the Bible. This is AWESOME, and this is why I say there is no REASONABLE doubt that UFO's and the Beings that fly them do exist. If you look at all of the evidence in total it's very obvious. I think the paintings is strong evidence that adds to the total picture.

Here's some verses about Clouds in the Bible:

Exodus 24:18 And Moses went into the midst of the cloud, and gat him up into the mount: and Moses was in the mount forty days and forty nights.

Moses enters into the Cloud and it carries him into the mountains.

Exodus 40:34 Then a cloud covered the tent of the congregation, and the glory of the Lord filled the tabernacle. 35 And Moses was not able to enter into the tent of the congregation, because the cloud abode thereon, and the glory of the Lord filled the tabernacle.. 36 And when the cloud was taken up from over the tabernacle, the children of Israel went onward in all their journeys: 37 But if the cloud were not taken up, then they journeyed not till the day that it was taken up. 38 For the cloud of the Lord was upon the tabernacle by day, and fire was on it by night, in the sight of all the house of Israel, throughout all their journeys.

Here the cloud(spacecraft) hovered over the Tent of the congregation. Whatever was powering the craft was so bright and hot that Moses couldn't enter the Tent when this craft was hovering over it.

Luke 9:34 While he thus spake, there came a cloud, and overshadowed them: and they feared as they entered into the cloud. 35 And there came a voice out of the cloud, saying, This is my beloved Son: hear him.

Here's the Transfiguration on the Mount. Here, they ENTER into the Cloud and a Voice comes out of the Cloud.

I can go on and on.

If you look at the description of Clouds and other Craft in the Bible, these painters inadvertantly painted UFO's. This is truly remarkable. If you add in cave drawings, other ancient manuscript, pictures and video, plus eyewitness accounts from Presidents, military personel, govt. officials, astronauts, police officers and more, there isn't any REASONABLE doubt that these things exist. If you couple that with science that talks about parallel universes and extra dimensions, it's easy to see that these beings are from another dimension of space within our brane. They are probably from the bulk or 4 dimensional space that our 3 dimensional brane floats in. Jesus talked about Parallel Worlds years before Dr. Kaku. Jesus said My Kingdom is not of this world, His Kingdom is in another dimension.

So in closing, I havn't met a skeptic yet who could dispute Ufology through REASON. What they have to do is push Ufology into the realm of fantasy and then they can pose any unreasonable arguement. See, scientific proof is not the only way that humans derive the truth. We derive the truth through REASON and LOGIC. If you woke up one morning and went outside and everything was wet, the trees, your house, puddles in your driveway and your neighbors driveway and you left the window cracked and your seat is wet, you can come to the REASONABLE conclusiion that it rained without seeing it rain. You don't need scientific proof to show that UFO"s and the Beings that fly them do exist. There's just overwhelming evidence. We have more evidence for UFO's than the evidence used to put some people in jail.


posted on Dec, 28 2005 @ 11:04 PM
It is not the intention of this thread to debate the larger issue of extraterrestrial contact. This thread was generated in reaction to the extremely amateurish presentation of images from art history that supposedly stands as proof of alien contact when they do nothing of the kind. This thread will continue to engage in this manner of investigation on an image-by-image basis as time allows. Of course all ATS members are free to post and comment in any manner that they wish. If you care to take the time to state that you believe in extraterrestrials that's your business. I will respond to all serious inquiries and posts, but do not expect me to deal with a general statement with anything but a general answer. If you wish to present a specific image, passage of text, etc., from any era, I will do my best to address it. Properly citing what you present will greatly facilitate the discussion. There is a great deal of talk about being "open minded", and that's all well and good, in fact that's exactly the attitude we should all endeavor to possess when dealing with any topic. If you want people to be receptive of your concepts, especially if you are presenting them without demonstratable evidence, a good start would be to be receptive in return. Also before posting with a knee-jerk reaction because I am presenting information that does not immediately synch with your personal belief system, I ask that you take the time to read carefully what I have said. This particular presentation is based upon an examination of evidence. If you truly wish to contend my conclusions I ask that you supply evidence of your own.


I hold no doubt that UFOs exist, in the strictest definition of the term. There seems to be some confusion between seeing something that isn't identifiable and knowing that extraterrestrials exist and are in contact with our world. You are free to draw any conclusion you like but Ufology, as a serious field has a much broader scope of investigation than this single, unsupportable theory. I am not sure what you mean by the term "disillusioned" (by which I assume you mean illusioned) by works of fiction. My mention of "Micromegas" was not made to convey any such thing at all. I will say that the effects of great works of literature are observable and demonstratable. No matter what your view on the matter, the same cannot be said about extraterrestrial contact.

I assume your reference to
Alexander the Great regards his legendary sightings of flying, silver shields. This is a perfect example of how interpreting antiquated, poetic legends using modern sensibilities can lead to confused conclusions. Alexander is one of the most monumental figures in world history. His story was elevated to the level of the mythical during his lifetime, and continued for centuries after his death. There are numerous fantastic legends and attributes associated with Alexander and if we are going to accept some of them as the literal truth then we might as well accept them all. Among the more hyperbolic elements of the Alexander story is his status as messiah, his divine parentage (sometimes the son of Zeus, sometimes Apollo), his instant taming, as a child, of the horse Bucephalus, offspring of the mythical Mares of Diomedes, his sexual tryst with Queen Thalestris of the mythical Amazons, and his journeys to the heavens, the underworld (and back), and under the sea where even the fish paid him homage. All of these obviously unreal accounts can be traced to various Alexander Romances. This is not the case with the UFO legends that seem to have no point of reference whatsoever. This point is discussed here:

Alexander and the Flying Shields


I did perform a search and I scanned the titles of the threads that came up for the terms "UFOs" and "art". I did not see anything that seemed to deal with this exact subject, let alone in the manner in which I intended. Seeing as how these images were being presented as evidence of extraterrestrial life on the ATS boards as recently as 12/20/05 and 12/23/05, the topic struck me as being pertinent. If you have links to previous threads dealing with this topic I would appreciate you posting them here. If they possess conclusions that are the same as my own then it would save me a great deal of work.


Your point is an interesting one. What troubles me are the very definitive conclusions you are making based on very broad generalizations. Use of the terms evidence and reasonable doubt are not compelling when they are misapplied. There is no evidence of extraterrestrial life and that is a very simple fact. Without evidence then reasonable doubt certainly does exist, on multiple levels. As anyone living in this day and age knows, there is a vast proliferation of interpretations of the Biblical texts. You have a personal take on it, and that's great, but it is not evidence, and everyone should easily recognize the difference. I am in no way moved by descriptions of fantastic events in any religious text, including the Bible, especially when the scenes in question are referring to the supernatural actions of God. That there is an association between God and the sky is easy to see. The cloud association seems quite natural, especially as the God of the Old Testament bears such striking similarities to other chief gods of other religious systems associated with the sky like the Greek Zeus and the Persian Ahura Mazda. Clouds, lightning, rays of light, great boomings, all emanate from the sky and have a natural association with the Godhead. Also, in what way does a vaporous cloud resemble a flying saucer beyond both being objects seen in the sky? The science that deals with matters such as parallel universes and extra-dimensional realms are purely theoretical. While this area is fascinating and some of the theories backed by sound science, they remain theoretical and are likely to remain so in our lifetimes. Declaring certainty based on unobservable and unproven theory is not an act of logic or reason. Your rain analogy fails to take into account that rain is an observable, natural event that I have witnessed with all my senses hundreds of times. Assuming that rain made the ground wet would be an assumption I would make based on observation and experience. This does not compare to believing in extraterrestrial contact based on misinterpreted Biblical text. That would be more akin to me assuming the ground was wet not because of rain, but because aliens had sprayed down the streets with chemicals.

[edit on 28-12-2005 by Cicada]

posted on Dec, 29 2005 @ 01:35 AM

Thanks, I will make a note regarding the references or lack there of concerning Alexander the Great and the Flying Shields.

My point was that people have seen these strange things in the sky's for centuries and its completely logical to think they have been depicted in some works of Art.

Here are a few examples.

70 AD, May 21:
From Josephus "Jewish War" Book CXI "On the 21st of May a demonic phantom of incredible size...for before sunset there appeared in the air over the whole country chariots and armed troops coursing through the clouds and surrounding the cities."

General Yoritsume was at military camp with his unit on September 24, 1235, when a most extraordinary phenomenon was sighted. Through the night and into the early morning lights in the sky were seen swinging, circling, and looping. General Yoritsume had some astronomers working for him investigate this phenomenon. They came up with perhaps the first explanation offered for UFOs, 'The whole thing is completely natural, General, it is only the wind making the stars sway'.

At the Siege of Utrecht in Holland " A cruel and strange sight was seen in the sky, which terrified the townspeople and made the enemy think he would get the city. It was the form of a Burgundian cross right over the city, high in the sky, yellow in color, and fearful to behold."

That is just three examples but there are many, many more.

If we know for fact that strange things like these that we would today consider UFO sightings are documented in History , it almost seems absurd to think they would not appear in any works of Art.

posted on Dec, 29 2005 @ 02:25 AM
"Instead of making the same threads over and over, its best to do a search " == Unplugged

I have. This one is the best. This one is using knowledge and history and insite. The others
have various pinches of gullibility thrown into the mix. So that makes this one of value and the
rest are just also-rans.

Cicada, you got a lot of beef in there. I am gonna have to re-read for fine details. This is obviously
not a spur-of-the-moment post. Impressive effort, and thats saying something from a very non-art
oriented person. (The closest I have come to art is an intentional pattern on target with a paint ball gun in
a combat match.)

Ditto what saint4God said.

posted on Dec, 29 2005 @ 03:06 PM

I followed you here via the link you provided over in the "Ancient Civilizations" area, and man I'm glad I did. The link to the UFOart website you provided here is going in my "favorites" file for sure, as is the address of this particular thread.
I've never had such accessible ammunition for debunking at my fingertips!
Congratulations and please accept my vote for waaay above top secret as well.


posted on Dec, 29 2005 @ 11:16 PM
First let me state that I was mistaken when I said that all the images presented on the "UFOArtwork" site were dealt with on the "Art and UFOs? No Thanks, Only Art" site (links for both provided above). The Art and UFOs site, the exceptional work of Diego Cuoghi, deals primarily with works of Renaissance art. In no way does this mean that paintings and other images not from this era serve in any way as evidence of extraterrestrial contact. One of the side effects of the typically messy presentation of these works all grouped together is that images of various natures read as all being the same. There are legends and representations of legends of phenomena witnessed in the sky. While this is perhaps a step closer to a depiction of an alien craft than misidentifying a red hat, it is still a mistake to group the images together and make generalized deductions about them as a whole. They should each be examined and researched independently. One image that draws a lot of attention in this area, and that occupies a kind of middle ground between depiction of a phenomena and Christian iconography is Masolino da Panicale's "The Miracle of the Snows".

Masolino da Panicale The Miracle of the Snows c.1428 Early Italian Renaissance Florence
Originally commissioned by Bascilia di Santa Maria Maggiore now held at the Capodimante Museum in Naples.

Unlike the vast bulk of Italian Renaissance art, which dealt with scenes from the Bible or Greco-Roman myth, Masolino's "The Miracle of the Snows" depicts a legendary scene from early in the history of the Catholic Church. According to the legend, in August of the year 358 CE, Pope Liberius and a Roman patrician named Giovanni simultaneously dreamt of the Madonna. In the dream She asked the men to dedicate a chapel to Her on Esquilino Hill and that the exact location She desired would be indicated by a localized snowfall. The next day the snow had fallen (on August 20th, in Italy) just as the apparition of the Virgin said it would. In 360 CE Pope Liberius commissioned the construction of the chapel that would become the Basilica di Santa Maria Maggiore (The St. Mary Major Basilica). Due to his role the building is alternately known as the Liberian Basilica. Giovanni paid for a large portion of the costs. The Basilica is said to be the oldest church dedicated to the Virgin Mary.

Masolino enters the story almost 1,050 years later. He was commissioned by Pope Martin V to create an altarpiece for the Basilica depicting the miracle of its inception. The standard image of this painting is, not surprisingly, blurry. It is also cropped. Here's a better version:

That's the back-story of this image. Obviously the reason it attracts so much attention is due to the disc-like shape of the clouds, which appear to be a squadron of flying saucers flying in formation. The fact that Jesus and Mary are positioned in a nimbus above the foremost cloud only adds to the effect of these objects as spacecraft, if one is to assume that Masolino was completely ignorant of proportion. Examination of his body of work demonstrates that this is not the case. As with the Uccello "The Secrets of Eremite Life", many Early Italian Renaissance painters followed a medieval pattern of displaying various tableaus together in a single composition. This is particularly true of altarpieces.

This full, cleaner, brighter and clearer version does allow one to see small details important in deciphering the image:

Quite clearly the clouds are dropping snow, just as the title and the legend suggest they should. Flying saucers are often associated with rays, beams, flames and auras, but dropping snow is not one of their usual attributes. This should be enough to identify these objects as clouds but there is further evidence. As the Renaissance progressed the emphasis of reviving the Classical era of nature study steadily increased. Early Renaissance works display far more characteristics of medieval Christian iconography then the High Renaissance period typified by the work of Leonardo, Michelangelo and Raphael. This means this era of art features far more stylized images of elements of nature. That this is a typical manner for Masolino to depict clouds is easy to see through other samples of his work, such as this detail of his "Madonna and Child" (date unknown), Alte Pinakothek, Munich:

That the elements of this image are meant to be read as icons rather than as an integrated scene should be apparent when one considers the legend being described. In the foreground Pope Liberius is breaking ground based on the outline of the Basilica formed by the fallen snow. While the building as it stands now is not reminiscent of its original form, it is safe to assume this important place of worship was much larger than in the painting where it is apparently as wide as five to six people standing in a row.

There are numerous examples of works of art depicting this scene from throughout the middle ages and Renaissance. As an example here is a version by Matthias Grunewald:

Matthias Grunewald "The Miracle of the Snows" c.1517 German Renaissance

You can really see the stylistic development that took place over the hundred years between the Masolino and the Grunewald, despite the near (but reversed) identical composition of the foreground elements. The apparition of the Virgin in the Grunewald is at the top of the picture plane, high in the sky, appearing like sunlight reflecting through the clouds. In the middle ground you can see the form of the sleeping Pope in bed dreaming his Heavenly Vision.

While it is not the purpose of this thread to discuss the validity of Catholic legends of miraculous events, some may be interested to know that small bursts of localized snowfall in spring and even summer are possible in Italy and many places. When it happens it is an extraordinary event but not a miracle. Snow has been recorded to have fallen in Calabria on May 12th, 1755, in Lugiana on July 1st, 1756 and recently in Prato on August 5th, 2000. It is possible that such an event occurred in 358, and that an associative legend was developed attached to the construction of the new Basilica.

As Masolino is an often-overlooked figure in the Renaissance who deserves to be recognized for the beauty of his work rather than the saucer-like shape of his clouds, I'm including the image painted on the reverse of "the Miracle of the Snows" panel, "The Madonna and Jesus":

One can't help but notice that the position of the flying Jesus at the top of the picture is strikingly similar to depictions of Superman. While Superman could be considered a messiah-figure from an alien world (with solar connotations), I'm guessing this is merely a coincidence.

[edit on 29-12-2005 by Cicada]

posted on Dec, 30 2005 @ 12:22 AM
polomontana , Really beat me to the chase of my argument.

That is that while you can show that many works of Art are representing Christian Iconography as opposed to proof of Extraterrestrial Contact, you fail to address the fact that most Artwork you are dealing with is Renaissance and Christian. You fail to deal with the fact that most Christians during the time frames given would assume what we would today consider "UFOs" to be Angels or Demons.

In fact your very argument that these Artisans would be painting detailed descriptions of angels from Christian Iconography would also be able to apply those very descriptions to the strange things being documented in the sky's throughout History.

My point is that similar "unexplained " things are noted in the Sky throughout History and they are often portrayed in context of a peoples existing belief system.

For example , if you are a painter in the 15- 16 century and you were to witness something we would today consider a "UFO", you would easily imagine that you had just seen an Angel of God.

That is why I go out of my way not to include "Christian Examples " in my UFO work so that I do no offend my Family.

I agree with you 100% that none of these works of Art are proof of ET Contact. However, it simply is not possible to sanitize History of UFO sightings and accounts.

And we should all be aware that people paint and people create works of Art when they see it.

The way I see it , I overlook tons of UFO sightings many even similar to my very own , simply because of "Religious " and "Family" implications.

Edit: Please don't get me wrong Cicada, I really like your thread here . I'd rather re-read your thread than read most threads once as of late. With that being said , it does seem like you have an agenda to debunk as much as the "Believers " have an agenda to believe.

I think that two falsehoods do not equal one truth.

In other words it simply is not good enough to say this is only Christian Iconography period.

Nor is it good enough to say this is "proof" of ET Contact.

In my book both "Angels" and "UFOs" can easily be synonymous. Many of the accepted descriptions are eerily similar through history. And when you consider the fact that people who did not share any of these beliefs , did describe similar things throughout History you are only left to conclude that these people did in fact witness similar strange events.

[edit on 30-12-2005 by lost_shaman]

posted on Dec, 31 2005 @ 01:10 AM
A recent(ish) issue of Skeptic (a few months ago; perhaps even a year now) debunks some of the most famous of these. And to polomontana, skeptics who debunk UFOs use nothing but reason (real skeptics who really do it, that is). It is you believers who make the leaps without reason. I could also say that they're describing something completely absurd, like a dimensional rift to a universe made of nothing but light and voices, and i'd have exactly as much evidence as you do.

posted on Dec, 31 2005 @ 01:19 AM

It again depends on what you are speaking of. If you are talking about evidence for ET Contact then you are right. If you are saying there is no evidence of UFOs here in the Art , you are not exactly right.

Everyone should remember that while many of these works seem to portray UFOs they are portraying Angels, but UFOs would have at that time been considered Angels by these people also. And if you look at Art and Literature written throughout History by non-Christians you find that they also described very similar strange events in the Sky's.

posted on Dec, 31 2005 @ 01:22 AM
But, Shaman, the jump that what the olden people call Angels are actually Aliens is a jump! They could've been imaginary, flights of fancy or, heck, they could've been honest-to-deity angels! You can't just say "these are depicting UFOs because what they thought were aliens must have been UFOs". Besides which, they aren't UFOs to these people; they have clearly identified them as Angels.

posted on Dec, 31 2005 @ 01:28 AM

Originally posted by Solasis

Besides which, they aren't UFOs to these people; they have clearly identified them as Angels.

That is exactly my point.

Look in the bible and tell me descriptions of Angels are not synonymous with descriptions of UFOs.

posted on Dec, 31 2005 @ 08:33 AM
A big thanks to Cicada for opening my eyes to the details of these images, as I had lazily accepted them into my own personal belief system: as ‘pro- ET’ evidence, ie: as evidence towards historical depictions of what we would now class as quite out-there UFO phenomena…..

SO: I am actually happy to see how lazy the believers eye will succumb. I’m sure I’m not alone here……… but we really must be vigilant if we are to make any sense at all in making a case for historical accounts of UFOs..

The counter-argument just presented about angels ACTUALLY being UFO’s (in the first instance) can only work, in my opinion, for images of angels and clouds. However, Cicada has done some great work and has shown us that many of these images, in this art historical period SPECIFICALLY, are of hats and suns and moons and globes. In other words, we cannot use the angels are UFOs argument here, as they are NOT depicted as angels or the clouds of the bible.

As Cicada has gone to such trouble as to actually name the artworks, research them, and provide references for information on them, unfortunately we have to stop being so lazy-ass in our counter (pro-ET) arguments. So if there is a certain angel or cloud that does not fit Cicada’s line of reasoning, we actually need to be academically responsible to our end of the argument, and point out (specifically) which ones do not fit that line of explanation.

Seeing as this thread has been promoted as the most well researched thread on this actual topic, and rightly so, it seems that the argument might stand or fall here.
We must sharpen our teeth, fellows… so, whose for it??

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