It’s interesting that this type of document exists on NASA’s website. It validates that the UFO phenomenon has existed throughout mankind’s history. The author states, that ancient UFO observers described aerial phenomenon in “familiar subjective terms.” Many of the mysterious, aerial objects, that were described by ancient observers, would be their interpretation of natural phenomena…like solar and lunar eclipses, comets, optical phenomena and new stars. However, as the author of this article states, some ancient reports, were describing objects that were similar to today’s unexplained, modern UFO sightings.
My working hypothesis will be that most such reports can be explained by conventional scientific ideas and that, among all the reports, only those that defy reasonable interpretation after full analysis can be said to resemble the most puzzling reports made today.
The ancient UFO witnesses, often described these craft using known “military terminology.”
The military terminology reflects the most advanced technology known at the time, a tendency found also in modern UFO reports, in which a witness gropes for a familiar technical vocabulary—and perhaps a rationalization—to describe an unaccountable phenomenon. That many reports were made during wartime may partially explain the military terminology
The author then lists a number of ancient sightings, that describe “military objects” that were seen in the skies:
…At Rome in the winter of 218 BC “a spectacle of ships (navium) gleamed in the sky”
…In 217 BC “at Arpi round shields (parmas) were seen in the sky”
…In 212 BC “at Reate a huge stone (saxum) was seen flying about”
…In 173 BC “at Lanuvium a spectacle of a great fleet was said to have been seen in the sky”
…In 154 BC “at Compsa weapons (arma) appeared flying in the sky” (Obsequens 17). The term refers to defensive weapons, especially shields.
…In 104 BC “the people of Ameria and Tuder observed weapons in the sky rushing together from east and west, those from the west being routed.”
…In 100 BC, probably at Rome, “a round shield (clipeus), burning and emitting sparks, ran across the sky from west to east, at sunset.”
…In 43 BC at Rome “a spectacle of defensive and offensive weapons(armorum telorumque species) was seen to rise from the earth to the sky with a clashing noise.”
…Historically, the most famous “sky army” appeared in the spring of ca. AD 65 over Judea. The historian Josephus reports:
On the 21st of the month Artemisium, there appeared a miraculous phenomenon, passing belief. Indeed, what I am about to relate would, I imagine, have been deemed a fable, were it not for the narratives of eyewitnesses and the subsequent calamities which deserved to be so signalized. For, before sunset throughout all parts of the country, chariots were seen in the air and armed battalions hurtling through the clouds and encompassing the cities.
…The first cluster of reports of fiery globes falls during the Second Punic War. Livy reports that in 217 BC “at Capena two moons rose in the daytime … and at Capua a kind of moon fell during a rainstorm.”
…In 168 BC, when L. Aemilius Paullus was waging war against King Perseus of Macedon, “a ball … was the form of a fire that appeared, as large as the moon.”
…A more complicated object made its appearance sometime between 151 and 146 BC:
After the death of King Demetrius of Syria, … a little before the Achaean War, a comet blazed out, not inferior to the sun. At first it was a fiery red disk, 17 emitting a light so bright that it dissipated the night. Then, little by little, its size dwindled and its brightness faded; at last the light died completely.
…Two parallel records of 91 BC preserved by Livy’s extractors Orosius and Obsequens refer to central Italy. Over the city of Rome “about sunrise a ball of fire shone forth from the northern region with a loud noise in the sky.”
…in 74 BC, when a Roman army under L. Licinius Lucullus was about to engage the forces of King Mithridates VI of Pontus. According to Plutarch:
But presently, … with no apparent change of weather, but all on a sudden, the sky burst asunder, and a huge, flame-like body was seen to fall between the two armies. In shape, it was most like a wine-jar (pithōi), and in color, like molten silver. Both sides were astonished at the sight, and separated. This marvel, as they say, occurred in Phrygia, at a place called Otryae. 23 The presence of thousands of witnesses, including Lucullus and Mithridates, vouches for the incident’s occurrence.
…The date was ca. AD 285, in or near the Fayûm in the Egyptian desert. “St. Anthony saw on the desert floor a large silver disk that suddenly vanished like
…According to Livy, in 214 BC “at Hadria an altar was seen in the sky; around it were forms of men dressed in shining white.”
…AD 150. On a sunny day, a “beast” like a piece of pottery(ceramos) about 100 feet in size, multicolored on top and shooting out fiery rays, landed in a dust cloud, accompanied by a “maiden” clad in white.
The author concludes, that many ancient observers, were describing known, natural, aerial phenomenon. However, there are also some ancient reports, that also describe mysterious aerial objects that resemble modern day UFO’s.
Embedded in the mass of relatively explicable ancient reports, however, is a small set of unexplained (or at least not wholly explained) reports from presumably credible witnesses. If these reports are examined statistically, essential features of what I will, for argument’s sake, call the ancient UFO phenomenon can be extracted:
• shape—discoidal or spheroidal;
• color—silvery, golden or red;
• texture—metallic or, occasionally, glowing or cloudy;
• size—a meter to well over a meter;
• sound—usually none reported;
• type of motion—hovering, erratic or smooth flight, with a rapid
NOTE: all highlighted content/quotes comes from the PDF file found on this NASA link: