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There are only two types of people when it comes to the Nuremberg event of 1561: A Mulder and a


You're either passionately out to prove it, or debunk it before you start believing it yourself.

In April 1561, a local broadsheet ran a story detailing a fierce fight of what appeared to be warring
fleets of unidentified flying objects over the city.

According to multiple eyewitness accounts, it was between 4:00 - 5:00 in the morning, when they
looked up at the sky, shocked to find the sun radiating a ruddy glow and surrounded in all directions
by unidentified flying objects.

Citizens saw what appeared to be two crescent-shaped flying objects in bright blood red, and
circular objects coated in the colour of dark oxidized iron zooming across the sky.

The sun was flanked by large cigar-shaped airships filled with by incandescent globes, with a
number of crimson crosses and two big rods hovering nearby.

Clusters of large discs three red orbs arranged in a line and four more arranged in a square were
also seen moving around the sun.

In the blink of an eye, the orbs launched a strike against the rods near the sun. Then, the glowing
orbs inside the airship flew out and started attacking other globes in their path.

An intense aerial battle ensued for an hour with casualties crashing in a trail of smoke towards the

And when things finally cleared, a massive black aircraft, shaped like a point of a spear, with its
shaft to the east and its tip pointing west suddenly appeared.

The broadsheet interpreted its appearance as a sign from god. A warning, that the smite of god will
strike if they don't repent for their sins or if they ignore his warnings.

While the whole encounter could easily be dismissed as a clever marketing ploy by a tabloid to sell
more copies, it's also what sets the Nuremberg apart from other unexplained phenomena there's a
traceable record of it.

A woodcut illustration that accompanied the broadsheet article is now on display at the
Zentralbibliothek Zrich museum in Switzerland.

Created by artist Hans Glaser, the woodcut vividly captured the aggressive fight in the sky over the
city of Nuremberg. This image is still what keeps us guessing over whether or not the aerial battle
really happened.

Adding to the woodblock mystery, is the appearance of another woodblock image that share eerily
similar elements from Glaser's work.

This time, the unattributed print, appears five years later in a local gazette in Basel, Switzerland,
accompanying an article contributed by a student of liberal arts named Samuel Coccius.

Just like in Nuremberg, the 1566 Basel incident also happened at dawn, with the entire town waking
up to an armada of black orbs circling the sun at high speeds.
The flying globes then, without warning, started attacking one another. Striking into each other with
so much force, that some of the orbs started to burn bright red before being consumed by their own
flame and vanishing into the atmosphere.

Similar to Nuremberg, this occurrence was also interpreted as a heavenly sign. It was god's way of
telling all citizens to repent for their sins and renew their faith in the Catholic church or else.

It's also possible, that both supernatural events being attributed to the divine is not a coincidence
either. Especially, when the power and influence of the Catholic church was under threat from the
Protestant Reformation in the same time period.

The church probably saw the Nuremberg and Basel events as an opportunity to regain its influence
over Europe, by taking advantage of people's voracious appetite for "sky spectacles" to preach the
central tenets of the religion.

But as the 17th century welcomes the industrial revolution, the early modern period brought with it
a shift from astrology to astronomy.

Marked by the invention of optical tools like the telescope, more people are now looking to science
instead of religion to explain the paranormal.

In the case of the 1561 Nuremberg event, the most widely accepted scientific explanation of what
the townspeople believed was an aerial battle among aliens is an atmospheric phenomena known as
a sun dog.

Known technically as a parhelion, sun dogs are made from light refracting off ice crystals
suspended in the coldest part of the earth's atmosphere, more than 20,000 feet high up.

These flat, hexagonal ice crystals act as a prism, bending light as it enters and exits its surface to
form two mock suns at exactly 22-degrees from the sun.

While these orbs are often just white, they also sometimes take on different colours depending on
how the light hits the ice plates. Often they take on the appearance of a ball with a red centre and a
bluish outer shell.

Aside from circles, these light refractions also form other shapes. Like the 22-degree halo, which, as
its name suggests, forms a perfect ring of light 22-degrees around the sun. Or sun pillars, which are
tube-shaped beams of light shooting from the sun and up into the atmosphere.

There's also the circumzenithal arc or the upside down rainbow, a half circle located 46-degrees
above the sun. Although its colours are not as clearly separated as a rainbow's, violet and red are the
most visible hues.

Another arc-shaped formation that accompany sun dogs are upper and lower tangent arcs, which
resemble an archery bow with its tips spanning outwards like wings. Similar to circumzenithal arcs,
tangent arcs are also coloured in a reddish hue.

Modern scientists believe that there are at least twenty types of these light refractions that appear
during a sun dog. However, they estimate that there could be more formations that haven't been
seen yet, because sun dogs quickly disappear as soon as the sun reaches a certain height.
So, if we apply the sun dog theory to the 1561 Nuremberg event, all religious iconography in the
article will have an astronomical interpretation.

The glowing blood-red orbs that they saw circling the sun, could've been sun dogs appearing
together with a 22-degree halo.

The crescent-shaped objects could've been an upper, lower, or circumzenithal arc. And the cigar-
shaped flying objects could've been light pillars coming from the sun.

So, the mysterious bright spots in the sky that the citizens of Nuremberg saw on that fateful day in
1561, could've been just that, bright spots in the sky. Not warring alien fleets and not the smite of
god either. But simply, a perfectly regular atmospheric phenomenon involving light refractions.

But, while the sun dog theory might provide a sound scientific explanation for the mysterious aerial
alien battle of Nuremberg, there's still one thing that it can't explain:

If indeed, aliens descended on earth and engaged in a fierce battle with their air fleets, why did they
choose a small town like Nuremberg in the outskirts of Bavaria of all places to stage their match?

Why 16th century Europe of all time periods? Why are they even at war? Why did the battles
always happen at dawn? Are aliens early risers?

But, whether you're a Mulder or a Scully when it comes to the 1561 Nuremberg event, the only
thing that's certain is the truth is out there.


1566: UFO sighting over Basel, Switzerland,


Ancient Aliens, Episode 4: Close Encounters (2010),


Celestial Phenomenon Over Nuremberg, April 14th, 1561,

Battle Over Nuremberg, Germany. The Great 1561 UFO Battle In The Sky,

6 Famous UFO Sightings From History,


The Nuremberg Mass UFO sighting of 1561,

7 Mysterious Alien Encounters Before Roswell,


1561: UFO Battle over Nuremberg,

Tangent Arcs,

The AMS Weather Book: The Ultimate Guide to America's Weather,

Sundogs: Rainbows Beside the Sun,

Aliens, Gods and Human Civilizations,

Sundogs - The Fact and Fiction!