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Nuremberg 1561 UFO sightings: Mystery Files

Updated on October 29, 2012
Nuremberg 1561 ufo war
Nuremberg 1561 ufo war

Nuremberg 1561

The year is 1561. The place is Nuremberg in Germany. It is a time before the advent of technology as we know it. Knowledge of the universe is scant.

The little that was known about the stars and planets had more to do with astrology than science, and did not extend to the understanding that they were other suns and other worlds, offering the possibility that there may be other beings living on those other worlds - Extra terrestrial beings.

The only vehicles they knew were either water bourne vessels powered by wind or muscle power, or horse drawn conveyances. They would have no concept of aerial travel. Planes and spaceships would be extremely difficult to understand and explain - In their world and their time, it was clearly impossible for anything heavier than air to fly.

What then, would those citizens have made of a sky full of flying vehicles of differing designs fighting a battle in the skies above their city? They knew that what they were witnessing was real, because the casualties of that battle were crashing down onto their houses and fields.

In this particular instance, we actually know what they thought, because the events were witnessed by half the city, and reported in their local newspaper!

The spectacle begins

It was the first light of dawn on April 14th 1561, and as the townspeople were leaving their homes to go about their daily business, their gaze was drawn upwards to witness a spectacle that they could not explain or understand.

The sky was full of strange objects. Some were large and cylindrical, and released from within themselves smaller, sphere shaped flying objects. Some were shaped like plates, and others were cross shaped, and all seemed to be flying independently through the skies above Nuremberg

One of the first newspapers ever to be printed, the "Nuremberg Gazette" recorded the spectacle. It told the story of how a "dreadful apparition" flooded the dawn skies. It went on to describe "cylindrical shapes from which emerged black, red, orange and blue-white spheres that darted about." Between the spheres arrived other objects - "crosses with the colour of blood" - The "frightful spectacle", said the newspaper, was witnessed by "numerous men and women."

"approximately 3 in the length, from time to time, four in a square, much remained
insulated, and between these balls, one saw a number of crosses with the color of
blood. Then one saw two large pipes, in which small and large pipes, were 3 balls, also four or more".

 An early form of newspaper known as a "News notice", describing the aerial phenomenon that happened in the skies over Nuremberg on April 4th, 1561.
An early form of newspaper known as a "News notice", describing the aerial phenomenon that happened in the skies over Nuremberg on April 4th, 1561.

That the witnesses were observing hard, solid technology, and not just some strange cloud formations was evident from their descriptions, in which they likened some of the objects to the limited technology of their times.

The cylindrical shapes, for example were certainly substantial, and possibly of metal construction, as eye witnesses described them as being like the "barrels of cannons".

Neither were the objects gently floating about on the breeze. The description of the spheres clearly states that they were "darting about".

At least one of the larger objects seems to have had a streamlined profile as it was described as "spear like".

The Gazette reported that almost as soon as they arrived, the flying objects started to battle " All these elements started to fight one against the other". The fighting went on for at least an hour, during which time some of the objects were seen to catch fire and plummet to the earth where they disappeared in "clouds of steam".

At the conclusion of the battle, the perceived winners - The spheres and the tubes that contained them - were reported to have flown off into the sun.

Predictably for those times, the phenomenon was taken to be the wrath of God for some unknown transgression. The editor of the Nuremberg Gazette had this warning for his readers.

"the God-fearing will by no means discard these signs, but will take it to heart as a warning of their merciful Father in heaven, will mend their lives and faithfully beg God, that he avert His wrath, including the well-deserved punishment, on us".

Many modern pundits who look at the Nuremberg incident with modern eyes say that it clearly depicts alien UFO's (i.e. extra terrestrial vehicles) battling it out in the skies. They say that these objects are clearly physical, intelligently controlled, flying vehicles.

They point out that the shapes of the objects are all classic UFO designs- plates (saucers), cylinders, and spheres. The observation that the "tubes" released the "globes", fits contemporary reports of UFO "mother-ships" releasing smaller "scout" ships

Were the objects Alien spacecraft?
Were the objects Alien spacecraft?

Space aliens and Ufo battles?

Each age interprets it's mysteries through the eyes of it's time, and is limited by it's knowledge and experience, which is of course tied to that age.

How for example, would a Neanderthal describe a motor-bike? If we had access to such a description, would we recognise it as being of a motor bike?

Not very likely. The Neanderthal would have no knowledge of metals, or even of the function of a wheel and this would make the task of describing what he was seeing extremely problematic, as there would be nothing in his world that he could liken the object to.

Was this a problem that the ancient writers of Nuremberg encountered? Was this an incident that they simply did not have the vocabulary or technical knowledge to describe accurately? If the scene that the people of Nuremberg witnessed in their hundreds, was not one of battling flying machines, then what was it?

Many detractors say that it must have simply been a fanciful report of a meteor shower, but this stretches credibility - descriptions like "Tubes", "flying crosses", "cannon barrels" and a "giant spear" are about as far away from a description of a meteor as you could get, and bearing in mind the number of witnesses, the publishers would find it hard to get away with any description that was wildly inaccurate.

Such reports are not unique in history. What for instance are we to make of the incident in Nizza in 1608 in which, over a number of days, flying vehicles decended onto a french town, with the occupants of the vehicles exiting the craft for all the townspeople to see (also reported in their local newspaper).

So while we may not agree on exactly what is was that happened, we can perhaps agree that something strange happened. And while we may believe that our familiarity with technology is bound to make our interpretation closer to reality than those observers back in 1561 Nuremberg, the real truth may be that it is as far beyond our ken as it was theirs.


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