originally posted by lost_shaman
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."
Of the three "historical sightings" posted by lost_shaman way back on page one of this thread this is my absolute favorite. 1528 CE was an
extremely important year in the history of the city
of Utrecht. Prior to this year Utrecht was an independent territory secularly
ruled by its Catholic bishop.
In 1506 CE Charles V
inherited the Burgundian
provinces (the bulk of the Low Countries) from his father, Phillip the
Handsome. After the death of his maternal grandfather, Ferdinand II of Aragon (famed sponsor of the 1492 voyage of Columbus), in 1516 Charles became
the first king of a united Spain. With the death of his paternal grandfather, Holy Roman Emperor Maximilian I in 1519 he inherited the Hapsburg
territories in Austria. On June 28th of that year Charles was named Holy Roman Emperor. He placed his territories in the Netherlands under the
stewardship of his aunt Margaret of Austria and later his sister Mary of Hungary. Over time Charles annexed additional independent cities and
provinces of the Low Countries into his kingdom. In 1528 the Catholic bishop of Utrecht sold control of Utrecht to Charles V. While there is little
information available on the details of this transaction it seems it did come through the application of armed force. On June 30th, 1528 the forces
of Charles V occupied the city of Utrecht. This is apparently the event during which the supposed sighting occurred.
Here is an example of a Burgundian Cross:
A more detailed history of the House of Burgundy is available at the Catholic Encyclopedia:
You'll note that the description of the sighting provided indicates that the sight of the Burgundian cross "made the enemy think he would get the
city". The reason for this is rather obvious as it was in the form of one of their own representative symbols. What are we to imagine was taking
place in this account then? Was the form of the UFO just an incredible coincidence or was this some intentional expression of prophecy or preference
for the Holy Roman Empire? On this level alone the details of the account itself suggests the expression of an urban legend or even the fragments of
a program, systematic or otherwise, of presenting the exchange of power over the territory as the fulfillment of Divine Will.
After searching through several UFO timelines I happened upon a reference for this particular story. It was attributed to a writer named Wolffhart.
Further research soon revealed the full identity of this individual, who while highly obscure turns out to be one of the most fascinating figures of
the Renaissance, Conrad Wolffhart, more commonly known as
(link translated from German by Google),
the Greek version of his name.
The volume from which the account is derived is the
Prodigiorum ac ostentorum chronicon
(The Chronicle of Wonders). This incredible work was presented as a collection of hundreds of events taken
to be omens from throughout known history. It was published in 1557 in Basle, Switzerland (29 years after the supposed event took place).
Lycosthenes was a philologist, a professor of grammar and dialect, a deacon, a philosopher, a theologian and an editor for a translation of
"Geographia" and Julius
"Book of Prodigies" (another figure whose work is frequently presented as recording historical UFO events).
"The Chronicle of Wonders" covers the entire span of history as conceived by Christian dogma, from the fall from Eden (reckoned as occurring in 3959
BC) to the date of its publication. Lycosthenes drew from numerous sources including ancient works, such as those of
Pliny the Elder
, and contemporary cosmographers, naturalists, philosophers and occultists,
That the volume included accounts potentially based on fact alongside those that are patently fictitious is apparent upon reviewing the work itself.
Many of the "monstrous births" held to be omens of upcoming events can be reconciled as superstitious reactions to rare but naturally occurring
birth defects in humans and animals, such as varying forms of partial or full conjoined twins. Many others can only be read as great distortions of
original fact or outright fabrications. Accounts of miraculous and mythological creatures and events from Christian and other sources abound. Here
are a few examples:
Lycosthenes also includes an account of the Monster of Cracow, previously presented in works by Sebastian Munster and Jacob Ruff. The monster was
supposedly born in 1540 with living, barking dog heads growing from its elbows, knees and chest. It died four hours after its birth after warning,
"Watch, the Lord Cometh".
That Lycosthenes' interests were not purely historical, that they were in fact at times allegorical, is evidenced through an example presented in the
Monsters in A Chronicle of Wonders
(translated from French by Google). Amongst the monstrous births
are two figures, presented separately, that originated in a pamphlet satirizing the Roman Catholic Church published in 1540 by
, and illustrated by
Lucas Cranach the Elder
(note: These are the illustrations from "The Chronicle of Wonders, not those of Cranach)
In the pamphlet the "ass-pope" and the "monk-calf" are presented as omens of the pending fall of the Roman Catholic Church. This satire was easy
to understand and was widely known throughout Europe by the publication of "The Chronicle of Wonders". It is notable that Lycosthenes chose to
present the entities as factual beings, making no mention of the context in which they originated. While it is possible that the monk-calf
represented a true deformed calf birth, the figure of the ass-Pope is clearly impossible and is known to have been generated at Luther's request by
Cranach. Their inclusion in Lycosthenes' volume was obviously polemical.
Here are the pages from "The Chronicle of Wonders" that detail the Utrecht event:
As stated in the last post, the work was written in Latin. There was an English version published in 1581 but I was initially unable to access the
links to the only online copy of it I could find. Thankfully I was able to navigate my way to the page saving me from a most probably futile
translation effort (I started but saw immediately how difficult it was going to be. Due to the crude printing technology the spacing between words is
not always apparent and several of the characters used were unfamiliar and not reproducible).
The translation was performed by Dr. Stephen Batman (coolest surname ever) and published as
The Doome: Warning All Men to Judgment
, and included further accounts from the
British Isles and events in of the 34 years since the publication of "The Chronicle of Wonders".
Here are the pages from Batman:
The Utrecht account begins at the bottom of page 310 and continues at the top of page 311. Note that Lycosthenes and Batman's works feature
different illustrations of the same monstrous birth immediately after the account. Also note how the Batman refers to the Burgundian cross as an
emblem of the House of Burgundy, read by both sides as an indication of their victory over the territory. The Hallenians referred to are apparently
people from the German city of Halle, some 100 miles from Utrecht.
For curiosity's sake here are the illustrations presented by Lycosthenes for the prophecies preceding the fall of Jerusalem in 70 CE (wrongly dated
by two years by Lycosthenes and derived wholly from Joephus' "The Jewish War"):
Note that these images were not specifically generated to represent this event. They and many of other the wood block prints were used numerous times
to illustrate various events throughout the book. This is also true of the Burgundian cross as Lycosthenes presents it. It should not be mistaken as
an accurate depiction of the supposed sighting.
Here is another image Lycosthenes uses multiple times:
If the so-called UFOs in various works of art are examples of UFOs in history does this image not an example of giant floating heads in history?
Here is another image from "The Chronicle of Wonders" presented as representing a UFO sighting, the 1479 comet sighting in Arabia, to be discussed
in greater detail at a future date:
Both "The Chronicle of Wonders" and "The Doome" were presented online on the amazingly detailed Prophecies On
by Mario Gregorio, primarily concerned with Lycosthenes' contemporary Nostradamus.