An unidentified flying object, or UFO, in its most general definition, is any apparent anomaly in the sky that is not identifiable as a known object or phenomenon. Although its definition encompasses any unexplained aerial phenomena, in popular culture the term has generally become synonymous with an extraterrestrial spacecraft.
UFO Sightings Throughout History
UFO sightings have been reported throughout recorded history and in various parts of the world, raising questions about life on other planets and whether extraterrestrials have visited Earth. They have become a major subject of interest, and the inspiration behind numerous films and books. However, sadly they are also the focus of intense ridicule.
For decades there has been a move, deliberate or not, to diminish the importance of UFOs and create a public belief that UFOs are part of some form of elaborate hoax. Nevertheless, unexplained aerial observations of UFOs have been reported throughout history, from prehistoric times up until the present day.
Ancient Artists Left Signs for us to Decode. Did they Witness UFOs?
What Did the Ancients See? Unidentified Flying Objects that Made an Impact on Early History
Some ancient depictions of flying objects in the sky were undoubtedly astronomical in nature, most probably comets, bright meteors and planets that can be seen with the naked eye, or atmospheric optical phenomena such as lenticular clouds. An example is Halley’s Comet, which was recorded first by Chinese astronomers in 240 BC and possibly as early as 467 BC. Such sightings throughout history often were treated as supernatural portents, angels, or other religious omens.
However, we cannot just assume that what our ancient ancestors saw and recorded on cave walls or in ancient texts were astronomical or environmental phenomena. Like today’s sightings, there appears to be a small percentage of sightings that are simply inexplicable. Many of the records existing from our ancient past certainly arouse curiosity, such as the prehistoric cave painting above.
The cave painting bears a striking similarity to images painted hundreds of years later in the 16th century Summer’s Triumph Tapestry . UFO imagery on this tapestry also ties in closely with modern-day UFO accounts. There are also the Aboriginal cave paintings of the Wandjina sky beings , which appear to represent alien visitors.
Mythology of Sky Gods as Early UFO Sightings
Proponents of the ancient astronaut perspective point to numerous myths and legends telling of so-called “ sky gods ” descending from the heavens, while historic texts dating back 4,000 years appear to describe flying spaceships. In the Vedic literature of India, such as the Rig Veda , the Mahabharata, and the Ramayana, there are many descriptions of flying machines called vimanas which were used in warfare in ancient times. The vimanas were said to be able to fly in the earth’s atmosphere as well as into outer space, distant planets and be submerged underwater.
In the pyramids of Egypt, archaeologists have found hieroglyphs that resemble the UFOs that are described in sightings up to the present day. Centuries later, we have the pre-Columbian Quimbaya gold artifacts found in Central America, which appear to be perfect models of flying crafts. Later, in the medieval period, there was an abundance of art produced which appear to depict UFOs in the sky.
As debunkers correctly point out, none of these ancient depictions alone can be taken as conclusive evidence of the existence of extraterrestrial life . But they do, at the very least, raise the possibility that extraterrestrials have indeed visited Earth, and that just as people today regularly report sightings of unidentified objects in the sky, so to might our ancient ancestors have encountered objects that they could neither identify nor explain.