Daniela Giordano
The desire to communicate is inherent in the man. It is a part of his own nature. Since the first graffito to the Renaissance, since the Baroque to the Impressionism, Art has been and it is the first form of communication, base of our civilization. Only with this Muse is possible to express totally our reality in a spontaneous way.

It is almost unbelievable as by artworks or signs gushed from an hand one can know enough thoroughly aspect of cultural, social and political situation of the environment surrounding the artist.

Actually Art can be considered as a book of history, culture and science telling the man in many of his aspects in a more complete form than an unique branch of knowledge.

Since the beginning of man, humans have always felt a need to reproduce celestial events, first on the wall of caves, and then on canvas. It is not a case that sometimes History, Arts, Archaeology and Anthropology have been often rewritten on occasion in light of new elements whose existence no one had previously suspected.

From the past we receive strange signals of interference in our life and in our culture. Strange flying objects depicted in ancient works of art raise disturbing questions about our history and the role of man in the Universe.

A flying device in Palazzo Vecchio

Enigmatical images from our distant past arrive silently to the Man of the 20th century. They provoke curiosity and perplexity. They have been always there, in front of our eyes, as expressions of real experiences or as anomalous allegoric and symbolic representations arising forth from the hands of, more or less, famous artists telling us of their epoch. We have never noticed these images – or it is better to say we have not observed them carefully – because they are not the main subject of the artwork. They lie in the background as if the authors wanted to communicate their particular experiences “with discretion”.

For a long time a painting has been displayed at Palazzo Vecchio, Florence, in the Elements section. This 15th century painting made on wood is still in the news. It is known as “La Madonna e San Giovannino” (The Virgin Mary and Saint Giovannino), a nativity ascribed to the Florence painter Filippo Lippi (1406-1469) or his school. The round medium-size wood painting placed inside the Saturno Hall does not, however, have a sure attribution. In the Palazzo Vecchio list it is classified as artwork n. 344, by an unknown Florence author and originating from an abandoned Saint Orsola monastery.

The sweetness and the sacredness of this image do not equal the curiosity it rouses when one observes a detail in the upper right part of the depiction – near the head of the Virgin Mary. It is a gray-lead object, sloping to the left, provided with a “dome” or a “turret”, apparently identifiable as a flying object with an oval shape in motion. This “mysterious” object is characterized by the presence of bright rays, colored in yellow-gold, which seem to emanate from the hull. Below is some kind of barely visible spheroidal structure.

On the opposite side of the round wood is a sun and immediately below “three little fires”. These details show that the artist well knew the difference between a mystic-symbolic representation and a real event. In confirmation of his will to communicate through his work something of special emotional intensity, one can note a little human figure below observing the object in the sky with his hand shielding his eyes – a sign of attention. Near the figure is a dog barking at the mysterious flying object.

In the 15th century flying machines did not exist, and therefore the question arises of what the artist wished to represent.

As in the comics

Likewise emblematic is “La Tebaide” by Paolo Uccello (nee Paolo di Dono, 1397-1475) kept at the Gallery of Academy in Florence. It must be stated this artist has given remarkable notes on the development of the perspective as method of representation. In this artwork he has hidden an object shaped as a dish overhanging a dome between the detached umbrella-like sections of some very high cluster-pines. The ovoid top of the trees makes a corollary to the crucifixion in the background. To underline this “information”, he illustrates the motion of the object with some semicircular swirl, as if to indicate a turning – something similar to the manner in which motion is represented in the comics. Moreover, the mordant effect of the color used (red) by the Aretinian artist makes one think that he wished to underline the possible incandescence of the object.

The ambition of flying has existed in the mind of the man ever since he was capable of observation and actively perceived the world around him and his place in the mankind’s progress (see the Icaro myth). But the development of the flying shape and its aerodynamic consequences are a technological process, something that has been conquered step by step only in this last century. A Renaissance painting from 1595, ascribed to Bonaventura Salimbeni, resides at the church of Saint Peter in Montalcino. It illustrates perfectly the symbolic evolution of forms. According to the historiographers of Art, this altar piece represents the Holy Trinity - the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit – in accordance with the canons of the Roman Catholic apostolic tradition. But the object reigning over the center of the painting – under the large wings of a fading dove, usually a classic symbolic reproduction of the Holy Spirit – is an image reminding us of the 1950s in our century, when the Russian began to explore space by putting in orbit the first artificial satellites called Sputnik, marked usually with a progressive number.

Missiles” and “montgolfiers”

There is also a tapestry by Charles Le Brun (1619-1690), Parisian painter, sculptor and one of the greatest representative of French academic classicism in the 17° century, who also directed the manufacture the “Gobelin”, which has a detail found outside of its historical age. As part of the decoration surrounding the main subject of the artwork entitled “The four elements: the fire”, there is a medallion reproducing something that remind us not only of a missile in flight but of an ogive. In addition, the artist has encircled the image with the Latin words “Splendet et Ascendit” (Shine and Ascend).

A miniature excerpted from a French text of 1453 could also represent some unusual experience the artist lived through: a noble medieval lady wearing a conical hat meets a group of knights while in the background a huge and mysterious gilded sphere, richly decorated, hovers in the sky and impends over the scene. It could be also the pictorial representation of an allegoric image if not for the detail on the right of a man observing the object with surprise.

La Contemplazione di San Geremia” (Saint Geremia’s Contemplation), an other miniature from Renaissance period, this time excerpted from the “Bibbia (Bible) Urbinate” kept in Vatican Museums, is an example that mystic representation, the anomalous factor and the daily reality are very clear in the artist knowledge.

Since the mountains, the surrounding countryside, the town, the men and the horses are perfect representations of objective reality, and the divine image falls in the classic patterns of the religious iconography, the object represented on the upper right side seems to be a representation of an unusual visual experience. It is a sphere emitting blazing rays – dissimilar and “undulating” respective to those divine images in the painting – and a “clear straight beam” of light comes from the object. Does it represent perhaps a fireball of meteoric origin with a very unusual train?

Comments and suppositions, specially for those who know the behavior of the light, can never state for certain what the artist has seen in reality, but one thing seems to be clear: he wanted to tell us something.

And, finally, what can one say about the fresco painted on the vault of the Aleksander Nevski Cathedral - erected in Sofia, Bulgaria in 1882, and titled “To Almighty God”? To the side of the almighty God, surrounded by bright rays, and the little Jesus, there is an object in direction of the God’s forefinger that is without precedent in the religious iconography. The object is round, and it is also possible to see a spheroidal structure in the lower part of the object.

There are still many artworks whose meaning is not clear, as, for instance, the Roman epoch fresco on the Augusto Home wall, at Capitolino Hill, in Rome, representing a huge object like a rocket ready to take off observed by patricians with surprised expressions on the faces.

Without setting ourselves so many questions, we could justify the pictorial representations of the objects we have introduced – aliens to the culture of the epochs in which they have been painted – as allegoric images due to the inspiration of those who painted them. But in such a case we would not know what they symbolize.

However, it seems that these paintings depict devices suited to the flight, devices unknown by the technology of those centuries.

If we can make a supposition as to what the authors of the paintings had observed in the skies, we could state that they witnessed some kind of unusual events they wanted to hand down to the future generations.

If we think the painted objects represent real flying devices able to fly, we cannot ascribed to any civilization from those centuries their construction; on the other hand, we do not have any scientifically valid proof to claim they came from other worlds.

As we await in hope an Art expert who will provide a concrete explanation about the meaning of the objects described in these pages, what remain are some disquieting questions to which there are no possible answers . (D.G.)

Year 776 Sigiburg Castle, France. This sighting happened as the Saxons were attempting to invade Emperor Charlemagne’s Sigiburg castle. A French garrison was attacking them from behind. Suddenly two flaming shields were witnessed hovering above a nearby church. * The Saxons became frightened and fled. They thought the knights were piloting the two objects and were leading the French into battle! The description and two images of this event are from an eighth century book entitled “Annales Laurissenses” (books about historical and religious events.) They are possibly the earliest illustrations of UFOs in book form. The first picture represents a French soldier with his arms up, and object is above him in the sky. It is shaped like a sphere with little circles like portholes around it. The artist is trying to convey the movement of the object by drawing flame-like shapes from it. The second image depicts a nobleman or even Charlemagne riding a horse and pointing directly at a disc shaped object. Again the object has porthole like circles around it. Imagine back then what the witnesses must have though on viewing two UFOs. Today a witness would think it was a secret military aircraft or an extraterrestrial device. Back then it was assumed knights bringing them into battle piloted the disks. On reflection we are left wandering whether the UFOs appearance was by accident or whether whoever was behind the objects had the intention to influence the course of events.

The church plays an interesting part in our story because prior to the sighting another strange event took place. During one of the innumerable raids by the Saxons on the French, they reached the place of Frisdilar where there was a chapel founded by Saint Bonifacio, preacher, then martyr. He predicted the chapel would never be burnt. The Saxons surrounded the chapel, entered and attempted to set fire to it. Suddenly, two men dressed in white appeared in the sky. They were seen by the Christians who had taken refuge in the castle and the Saxons who were outside. These pair of strange beings protected the chapel in such a way that the Saxons were unable to set fire to it, neither from the inside nor outside. This terrified them so much they ran away even though no one pursued them. One crusader who decided not to flee was found dead, resting on his knees and elbows, with his mouth covered by his hands. He showed clear signs of death from asphyxia.

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Daniela Giordano

Daniela Giordano has been an Italian free-lance writer for many years. She has always been interested in parapsychology and avant-garde research about UFOs and other unusual phenomena. In 1999 she won first prize of the Donald E. Keyhoe Journalism Award, a contest promoted by the Fund for UFO Research in Washington, D.C., with the article titled ?UFOs in the History of Arts.? The winning article has been published in an Italian magazine about astronomical and science information and in some inte

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