UFOs in Religious Art? Nope.

Well, it isn’t the ancient world, but it still fits the kind of thing I’m doing on PaleoBabble. I keep getting links and emails related to the “compelling” evidence for UFOs in Renaissance art, so my annoyance meter has passed the tolerable level.

The UFOs in Renaissance art nonsense primarily extends from Matthew Hurley’s website. An informed rebuttal to this has been out on the web for some time, but it apparently hasn’t been widely discussed or circulated — likely due to the fact that most of it isn’t in English.

Art historian Diego Cuoghi (yes, a real art historian) has a website devoted to analyzing the paintings on Hurley’s website. Sorry, they aren’t extraterrestrials and space ships. The main site is here, but it’s in Italian.  But Parts 1 and 5 have been translated into English. I highly recommend them – very interesting and informative, but not for those who are fundamentalist ETH’ers (ExtraTerrestrial Hypothesis).

You definitely need high speed for all these images, too.

66 thoughts on “UFOs in Religious Art? Nope.

  1. Pingback: Another Aaarrrggghhh! Award Candidate: UFOs Influencing DaVinci! | PaleoBabble

  2. Im very open minded and look at things from every angle before I choose sides. Some of your arguements just don’t add up. Ancient aliens were here. The evidence is too great, and actually much more plausible then the theories you have

  3. You seem like just another sun venerating Christian nut on SUN-day looking to justify your own brainwashing, no different than people who believe everything Sitchin says. You all have an agenda to “prove”, one way or the other, notice the quotations around “prove” because you don’t “prove” anymore than Sitchin does.

    • thanks for the reply — I love it when such coherent, tightly-reasoned responses things like this get posted because they will live forever on the site.

  4. Sarcasm really is the lowest form of wit and I find it absolutely astounding how poor your grammar is , considering you claim to be a linguistic scholar . I have studied this site , its categories , blogs and your other site , Sitchiniswrong . All religions are nothing but spiritual theosophy born out of mans’ fear of the unknown, the world we inhabit and an ingrained inferiority complex. Sitchin and Eric Von Daniken and all other proponents of the ancient astronaut THEORY are doing nothing but offering an alternative to the story of the zodiac , on which all religions lean heavily on , for systems of social , agricultural and moral control .
    You pick holes in the translation of aramaic and hebrew texts by pointing out grammatical errors , which you seem to think can dispel the theories of others . Yet in your above post you clearly have a problem with sentence construction in the English language . Does this invalidate all your work ?
    We live in an age were text speak is common place and proper grammar has all but been forgotten. Do you think in 5000 or 10,000 years , scholars of that age will be studying the conjugation of our verbs and sentence structure, taken from our current communication systems (which also vary by locale ) and be able to translate verbatim and grasp completely the times we now live in ?
    The ancient astronaut theory has no greater merit than the New Testament , the Talmud , the Koran or the Egyptian book of the Dead but it certainly has no less .

  5. Here is a quote from the Srimad Bhagavatam book of India , ” … tells of a demon race which invaded the three planetary systems. Opposing the demons was the Hindu god Shiva , who possessed a powerful weapon that he fired at the enemy airships from his own . ”
    There are thousands of similar references to be found throughout sacred holy texts the world over . Stichin IS wrong in his translation when he states nephilim means ” those who came down ” as the correct translation would be ” those who were cast down ” .
    Whether one takes this to refer to aliens , angels or simply a metaphorical analogy , the ambiguity of the text and mans’ never ending search for enlightenment ensures we will always have more questions than answers . However, I would always question the motives of someone who pours scorn on others search for the truth , yet offers no truth of their own .

  6. Pingback: PaleoBabble » Recent YouTube Video Debunking “UFOs” in Ancient and Medieval Art

  7. yesenope

    Thats a non-argument. Surviving ancient texts would have been too important to quickly scribe paying no attention to grammar, in fact I always assumed writing was reserved for matters of high importance. Meaning, scholars should not fear coming across a spelling mistake or misrepresentation when studying ancient art or text. This web site may well be poorly edited, but there is enough scientific evidence here to show that the ancient summarians did not concern themselves with planet x.

  8. An honest intelligent and clear minded person does not need a PHD to prove their research, what they do need is funding and support, peer review and an opportunity to substantiate their claims. To often “fringe” science is scoffed at and ignored because it threatens to rewrite the social norm. The fact of the matter is that none of us have a definite answer for what the ancients were getting up to back then, we only have small fragments that have survived the ages and limited understanding based on SOME real scientific research and the rest based on socioeconomic(more like sociopathic) and cultural biases. As long as scientists are limited by funding and the opinions of the establishment then only half the story will be told. It is very true what Yesenope said about validity of interpretations:
    “The ancient astronaut theory has no greater merit than the New Testament , the Talmud , the Koran or the Egyptian book of the Dead but it certainly has no less.”
    What exactly is hoped to accomplish by justifying a specific stance on something based solely on credulity? Meaning that credulity is waved around in the form of a degree. I could go get a doctorate in Evolutionary Biology and then go tell the world about my theories on Creation Science. I could also be someone like Nikola Tesla, Jacque Fresco, Willhelm Reich, *Gasp* Erik Von Daniken or thousands of other researchers (with and without degrees) who have time and time again been able to show validity to their case, Then shunned, ignored, thrown to the maze of scientific bureaucracies, left to run into walls at every turn, or even shut down and had technology and research stolen from them or “confiscated” because some poor fool thought that money and power was more important than discovery and understanding. The fact of the matter is that you are just as reliable if not less than any other researcher, linguist, archeologist, whatever. Oh yea I checked out the art website, it was interesting, but his ideas were simply that, just ideas, just like Sitchin or any other researcher. Again, the only thing science has going for it is the inherent ability towards self correction, meaning that as a scientist, if you can’t conclusively prove something with repeatable tests, you still have a lot more riddles to solve. “Ancient Astronaut Believers” and so called “Scientists” are in the same boat, we are all looking for answers, and you would have to be an idiot or a tool not to think that some of the ancients might not have been talking only about cultural and mythological interpretations of celestial, biological and geological events. Most people who follow Sitchin or UFO’s, the Ancient Astronaut hypothesis, Different Interpretations of Ancient History and Symbology, people doing Consciousness Research Etc, Etc, Etc, are not a bunch of irrational, lazy or stupid people, we are people who realize that the nature of science is ever changing and that the scientific establishment has proven itself to be only half reliable half of the time. Physicists can’t even “equate” a unified theory for Relativity and Quantum Mechanics? Dr. Zahi Hawass equates the Bolivian Pyramids to piles of rubble. And unfortunately, you and your art critique friend are attempting to use classical interpretations of history to disprove a hypothesis that has validity, needs more research and is simply incomplete.

  9. Hi, I read with great interest Diego Cuohgi’s blog on art and ufos. It was very interesting, and indeed it broke down a lot of misconceptions i had on the subject.
    However there is one picture that still defies my understanding, this picture is not religious, but rather journalistic, it is a ethching representing an event, a small text seems to be linked to it.

    you will easily find a link to the etching by typing “april 4th 1561” in google

    Do you have an opinion on it?

  10. thank you for the reference.

    do yo know any other book refering to this event or the event of the same kind (not art)?
    Basel 1566, Hamburg nov 4th 1697, Angelo de Tummulillis 1465, England 18th august 1783?…

    • I’d have to look these up for bibliography, but I’d recommend getting Vallee and Aubeck’s book. It’s so-so when it comes to bibliography, but it’s very handy.

  11. @Anon

    Well it is weird,
    Indeed the link you shown appares as one of the first result, but because of a [4] and another date (april 1535) , the part in bold for the lin description in google.
    But no reference to the date. there is simply a small quote on wiki on the events of that year
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1561

    plus it is not artwork, but a journalistic etching, like a journalist article.

    set the search to “images” in google to find the pic.

    @MHS

    You are right, wiki is not perfect, but is a good start in most of the cases.
    and thanks again for th Vallee & Aubeck book.

  12. Hi!

    This is loosely connected to the main article and is in regards to the April 4, 1561 event:
    For those interested, a link to a Wikipedia page with a digital reproduction of the original Flugblatt aus Nürnberg (Leaflet from Nuremberg). The image is too small for me to read, but as far as I can read the very first line it says “Anno M.D.LXI Am den XIIII. tag Aprillis zu morgen…”, which translates to “In the year of 1561 on the 14th day of April in the morning…”.

    Hopefully the link will work properly:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Himmelserscheinung_%C3%BCber_N%C3%BCrnberg_vom_14._April_1561.jpg

  13. I would like to say that the art history references are very informing, yet I find a few things actually more damaging to the fundamental statement that the so called benefactors of the works of art wouldnt allow non-religious symbolism in to their comissioned paintings then artist where trying to hide a ufo sighting in their work. For example the one which refernces that the sun and moon are often shown with faces or a drawn chariits. This would be based on pagan mythologies. So a patron would be ok with associating christ and pagan gods? Anderso that the ufo believers tend to pick the painting that has either the most identifiable instance of the many versions of the scene where it isnt so readily identifiable as the same thing in another work of art. To me this would point to a more likely idea that these artists had an understanding of religious thought that just because the vatican says this is the truth they had their own revelations. Christ never sanctified the bible or gospels yet the culture half

  14. Responsible for his cruxifiction was allowed to sit over the forming of the canonized bible. What man has ever been given the divine right to say what christ real message was other then love and forgiveness. The first 5 books of genesis and the four canonical gospels where all written years after the people whom they tell us about where alive in a time where history was more often a spken tradition then accurate records like today. So these few instances where one artist deviated so much from other examples of the same scene might show us a conspiracy of ufos or might simply show us everyone enterprets words the way they want. Lets just say the day i needs definitive proof to believe what speaks to my heart is the day i become an athiest. Non ufo believers want to proof a negative to feel safe in their world where as ufo believers seek to open the doors if possibilities. For what its worth every christian muslim and jew

  15. All belief in aliens they just call them gods and angels and demons and djinn. For if these beings existed before man and earth they can not be of man ot earth and there for extra-terrestrial. Its so disturbing how people of higher education cant even apply simple definitions

    • maybe you’d better look harder and think more clearly. I’ve actually done a lot of that on the UFO Religions blog.

  16. I should think clearer and look harder on what? The statement that it is well known that the current widely accepted version of the bible was presided over by a pagan emperor? That god can’t be of earth if he created earth? I dont care to read a specific post or post with the corresponding research.aadvocating ancient aliens or defending them. What I am saying is that

  17. Sorry I hate my phone. No computer. Not advocating ancient aliens or dimissing the biblical texts. Merely saying that large institutions have long pulled the wool over the eyes of the comman individuals by promoting what they say is the truth. History is written by winners who often enough detroy all evidence of anything to the contrary of their version of the facts. You are an intelligent person you would know these things to be true.

  18. So in summary i am neither supporting or bashing you or them. I am saying that people believe what there minds make since of any evidence. I believe in a powerful being that created us but to take every word of any book that old literal is absurd and to argue either side with out the intelligence to see both isnt very smart because in all likely hood its probably a mixture. For example i should believe christ was gods son but hercules was a myth. The bible says the angels had sons anf daughters with men. Hmmmm kinda fits the old myths doesnt it?

  19. I believe in the ancient alien theory mainly because religion never created good in the end it almost always turn into war or violence plus we we eventually explained the stuff we couldn’t understand. However I don’t think 2012 will be apocalyptic it’s just some big event (I personly hope it’s an alien invasion) maybe they discover anti-gravity it could be anything thinkable

    • “religion never created good” (I’m not sure what that even means). So, how many hospitals, orphanages, relief agencies, refugee camps, missions, etc. has the ancient astronaut crowd created? And the majority of wars in world history have NOT been started because of religion – this is a bogus overstatement. And in my view, since the Bible (both testaments) contains no call for violence for its followers, but rather insists that they cheerfully suffer persecution, people who did start such wars in the name of Christianity are best deemed false believers and false prophets — not true Christians. They are guilty of politicizing that religion for power, not practicing it as a faith (at least one that would derive from the New Testament anyway). In regard to “we eventually explained the stuff we couldn’t understand” — like what? (And what would that have to do with religion anyway?) The statement is utterly non-specific and lacking in clarity, so I don’t know how to respond to it.

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