It was in April 1561 when all residents of Nuremberg, Germany, came out of their houses to investigate mysterious lights and loud sounds. They watched the sky, in awe and fear as they witnessed what appeared to be some kind of air battle—and all of this in broad daylight of the early morning.
The reports of event say it lasted for about an hour, and artist Hans Glaser documented this strange event for the German Nuremberg Gazette. Describing the event, he refers to crosses, tubes, wheels, multi-colored objects and globes over the city. Hundreds of them. Objects would disappear in smoke, some even crashing into the ground. The smoke was visible for miles.
This image and description have begged explanation for centuries. What on Earth could explain these phenomena that were seemingly witnessed by many people?
A Natural Event At Nuremberg?
Some would dismiss all of this to the appearance of meteors or comets, even other natural events, but the uniqueness of the Nuremberg incident eliminates such interpretations. The detailed description which is given by Glaser doesn’t seem to fit with any naturally occurring causes:
…the dreadful apparition filled the morning sky with cylindrical shapes from which emerged black, red, orange and blue-white spheres that darted about. Between the spheres, there were crosses with the color of blood. This frightful spectacle was witnessed by ‘numerous men and women.’
Afterwards, a black, spear-like object appeared. The author of the Gazette warned that ‘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, so that we may, temporarily here and perpetually there, live as His children.’- Abstract from the Nuremberg Gazette.
Cylinders, crosses and a black spear-like object appearing in the sky are something that you would imagine seeing in a modern air-battle – but not something that would take place half a millennium ago!
A few years later, in 1566, another similar event took place in Basel, Switzerland, but this time it involved black orbs in a sky skirmish above the city. That event was also recorded at the time in the city’s gazette .
Another similar event took place in 1697 in Hamburg, Germany, where the crowd watched two enormous glowing wheels in the sky above the city.
Multiple reports odd phenomena in the skies over major cities my multiple people have to be describing some peculiar event. Unfortunately, there were no cameras available back then to take photos or videos of the events, so newspaper references and drawings are our only evidence. These remain open to the interpretations of many, and also to the various differing descriptions of the eyewitnesses. But nonetheless, something happened in the sky that day.