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While many regard Kenneth Arnolds famous 1947 sighting as the beginning of the UFO phenomena,there have been many aerial anomalies that preceded this event. (See Classic ufo reports for the Kenneth Arnold story)
From ancient texts to the introduction of photography, people have chronicled the many and unexplained aerial wonders that we now class as UFOs.
Here are just a few of the many reports, images, and photographs that have come down to us, that precede the Kenneth Arnolds Sighting.
Prehistoric cave painting from India
This cave painting was found in the Hoshangabad district of the state of Madhya Pradesh, 70 kilometers from the local administrative centre of Raisen. The caves are hidden deep within dense jungle.
Local Archaeologist, Mr Wassim Khan, has personally seen the images.
He said that the objects and creatures seen in them are totally out of character when compared to other examples of prehistoric cave art, depicting ancient life in the area.
The creature on the left in the above photo with what appears to be a helmet, is reminisent of another more modern photo taken in Solway Firth in 1964.
This photo of a young girl was taken by her father. It was not until it was developed that the 'alien' was seen in the background, it was not seen at the time.
Cave Painting from Tanzania
thought to be 29,000 years old.
Notice the similarity between the left hand image, and the photo of a domed saucer.
Cave painting from France
thought to be 16,000 years old
Once again the similarity between the left image and a Domed Ufo
Painting found in the Sahara desert
Thought to be 6000 BC Note saucer shape in background, and 'alien' figure
Alexander the Great, told of 2 strange objects in the sky that dived repeatedly at his army as they were attempting a river crossing. (Jaxartes River). The action so panicked his elephants, horses, and men they had to abandon the river crossing until the following day. They were described as great silver shields, spitting fire around the rims.
From Prodigia of Julius Obsequens, Rome "When C. Murius and L. Valerius were consuls in Tarquinia towards sunset, a round object, like a globe, a round or circular shield, took its path in the sky from west to east."
Images from a 776 AD manuscript
Chronicling a sighting during the siege of Sigiburg castle.
The image depicted within the star is a classic domed Ufo.
Eyewitness report of a flying disk from 1290 AD
'While the abbot and monks were in the refectorium, a flat round, shining, silvery object (discus) flew over the abbey and caused the utmost terror.'
Byland, North Yorkshire: from William of Newburghs Chronicle
French medal/coin from 1680 depicting a wheel like craft.
And on the right a photo of a similar 'wheel' like Ufo from a video still taken in Bonsall Derbyshire in 2001.
Nice, France 1608
On the evening of August 5th, 1608, three luminous craft were seen by the towns residents over Baie des Anges in Nice, France,
The craft were long, oval in shape and flattened along their lengths, each with a "strange mast" on top of them.
The bay waters began to frothe underneath them, giving off a dense orange vapor, accompanied by a loud, unpleasant noise. From one of the craft two vaguely human looking beings appeared.
They were described as being dressed in red clothes covered with silvery scales, with huge heads and luminous eyes. The two creatures, holding cables or tubes attached to the craft, jumped into the water and moved about their ship for around two hours.
When they returned inside the object, all three left at a high rate of speed.
Later that month on the 22nd, the craft reappeared further south in Genoa, Italy, where they were greeted by over 800 cannonballs that were fired at them, none of the creatures, or aliens emerged. and no damage was observed to the craft.
People panicked, and several deaths were reported as the result of trampling by terrified people, overcome with fear.
Finally the three objects left.
Fleet in Dorset, England, in 1733.
James Cracker of Fleet saw a silvery disk fly overhead during daylight hours. He described his sighting this way:
"Something in the sky which appeared in the north but vanished from my sight, as it was intercepted by trees, from my vision. I was standing in a valley. The weather was warm, the sun shone brightly.
On a sudden it reappeared, darting in and out of my sight with an amazing coruscation. The colour of this phenomenon was like burnished, or new-washed silver. It shot with speed like a star falling in the night. But it had a body much larger, and a train longer than any shooting star I have seen.
Next day Mr. Edgecombe informed me that he and another gentleman had seen this strange phenomenon at the same time as I had. It was about 15 miles from where I saw it, and steering a course from east to north".
Location. Over Western Belgium Date: Spring 1917 Time: early morning
German Air Force Ace Peter Waitzrik and the famed Baron Manfred von Richtofen were flying a mission over western Belgium when an object with undulating orange lights suddenly appeared in a clear, blue sky directly ahead of their Fokker triplanes.
Both were terrified and assumed it was some type of US aircraft (The US had just entered the war). The Baron immediately opened fire and the thing went down like a rock, shearing off tree limbs as it crashed in the woods.
Then two little bald headed occupants climbed out of it and ran away. Waitzrik described the craft as silvery in color about 40 meters in diameter and resembling a saucer placed upside down.
The two bruised but otherwise unhurt occupants ran into the woods and were never seen again.
Photograph from 1932 taken in St.Paris Ohio, with a domed object in the background.
Thanks to Robert Morningstar for this enhanced image of the St Paris Photo
Photo from China circa. 1941
Notice the man in photo pointing up to the object
Photo taken in New Jersey, USA in 1956
Photo from Santa Monica, USA 1979