In the early morning hours of April 14th, 1561, the greatest single UFO sighting in world history occurred. This was not a mere flashing object shooting across the night sky or a glowing disk hovering over a farm field. What occurred that morning was nothing short of spectacular. For the citizens living in the area of Nuremberg, Germany, their world would be forever changed. Hundreds of people witnessed what appeared to be a massive aerial battle taking in the skies above them.
According to those witness accounts, the sky overhead was filled with hundreds of strange shaped objects. Some were sphere shaped, some cylindrical shaped, crosses, spears, and other non-geometric shaped objects. The movements of these spacecraft suggested it was an aerial battle of sorts. The UFO battle lasted for more than an hour, culminating with objects burning and crashing down to earth, with much smoke and fanfare. After the conflict, a very large object appeared, which was described as a thick, long, spear shaped-object that was pointed in the western direction.
The local newspaper printed a broadsheet later that month which described the event and all of it’s strangeness. (The original is preserved at the (Zentralbibliothek Zürich (Zurich Central Library) in Zurich, Switzerland. The original author of this work is Hans Wolff Glaser (also Hanns Glaser, Hans Glasser, Hans Wolff Glaßer) (c. 1500 – June 1573).
“In the morning of April 14, 1561, at daybreak, between 4 and 5 a.m., a dreadful apparition occurred on the sun, and then this was seen in Nuremberg in the city, before the gates and in the country – by many men and women. At first there appeared in the middle of the sun two blood-red semi-circular arcs, just like the moon in its last quarter. And in the sun, above and below and on both sides, the color was blood, there stood a round ball of partly dull, partly black ferrous color. Likewise there stood on both sides and as a torus about the sun such blood-red ones and other balls in large number, about three in a line and four in a square, also some alone. In between these globes there were visible a few blood-red crosses, between which there were blood-red strips, becoming thicker to the rear and in the front malleable like the rods of reed-grass, which were intermingled, among them two big rods, one on the right, the other to the left, and within the small and big rods there were three, also four and more globes. These all started to fight among themselves, so that the globes, which were first in the sun, flew out to the ones standing on both sides, thereafter, the globes standing outside the sun, in the small and large rods, flew into the sun. Besides the globes flew back and forth among themselves and fought vehemently with each other for over an hour. And when the conflict in and again out of the sun was most intense, they became fatigued to such an extent that they all, as said above, fell from the sun down upon the earth ‘as if they all burned’ and they then wasted away on the earth with immense smoke. After all this there was something like a black spear, very long and thick, sighted; the shaft pointed to the east, the point pointed west. Whatever such signs mean, God alone knows. Although we have seen, shortly one after another, many kinds of signs on the heaven, which are sent to us by the almighty God, to bring us to repentance, we still are, unfortunately, so ungrateful that we despise such high signs and miracles of God. Or we speak of them with ridicule and discard them to the wind, in order that God may send us a frightening punishment on account of our ungratefulness. After all, 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 may avert His wrath, including the well-deserved punishment, on us, so that we may temporarily here and perpetually there, live as his children. For it, may God grant us his help, Amen. By Hanns Glaser, letter-painter of Nurnberg”.
Interpretations – Was This A UFO Battle, or Something Else?
At the time, the event was mostly interpreted as either a religious sign or possibly a military sign. The crosses gave weight to the religious theorists, as the cross was a powerful sign of Christianity. The spear shaped objects and the longer tubular objects gave weight to a military conflict. The tubes were interpreted as cannons and the spherical objects as cannonballs. Many ufologists today give the eyewitness accounts more credibility as proof of a UFO battle, while rejecting the event as an omen or sign of something altogether different.
Other Noteworthy Celestial Events Around the Same Time Period
In 1566, a series of mass sightings, some similar to the Nuremberg sighting, were documented in the area around Basel, Switzerland. The events were once again recorded by Samuel Coccius, on 27-28 July and 7 August, who wrote that many local witnesses in Basel reported seeing three separate celestial phenomena.
A translation of the text from the, Flugblatt of Basel 1566, by Samuel Apiarius and Samuel Coccius.
It happened in 1566 three times, on 27 and 28 of July, and on August 7, against the sunrise and sunset; we saw strange shapes in the sky above Basel.
During the year 1566, on the 27th of July, after the sun had shone warm on the clear, bright skies, and then around 9 pm, it suddenly took a different shape and color. First, the sun lost all its radiance and luster, and it was no bigger than the full moon, and finally it seemed to weep tears of blood and the air behind him went dark. And he was seen by all the people of the city and countryside. In much the same way also the moon, which has already been almost full and has shone through the night, assuming an almost blood-red color in the sky. The next day, Sunday, the sun rose at about six o’clock and slept with the same appearance it had when it was lying before. He lit the houses, streets and around as if everything was blood-red and fiery. At the dawn of August 7, we saw large black spheres coming and going with great speed and precipitation before the sun and chattered as if they led a fight. Many of them were fiery red and, soon crumbled and then extinguished.
The Basel pamphlet description is focused around the sun, specifically the unusual sunrises and sunsets. Like the previous reports, the events were interpreted as a religious event of some sort. Modern ufologists call it a UFO battle with ships of unknown origin fighting it out for unknown reasons in the skies above earth.