UFO Conjectures

Monday, June 30, 2014

Those 1561/1566 Woodcuttings are “Editorial Cartoons” – not UFO depictions

Copyright 2014, InterAmerica, Inc.

While reading the June 19th edition of The London Review of Books, about John Donne’s sermons and poetry [circa 1600], in a review by Blair  Worden, I was drawn to  references of the religious turmoil of the times….the Reformation and Counter-Reformation in particular.

I recalled that UFO aficionados and Ancient Alien theorists posited that these woodcuts from 1561 and 1566…
…portrayed a clash of UFOs over the skies of Nuremberg, Germany and Basel, Switzerland.

But that’s not the case at all.

(See http://www.ufoevidence.org/cases/case486.htm for the ufological take)

The woodcuts, by Hans Glaser, a publisher, and article by “reporter” Samuel Coccius, were, in fact, examples of Middle Age editorializing, metaphorical depictions of the religious disputes between the Roman Catholic Church and Martin Luther’s new Protestant church.

The Council of Trent was meeting [1545 to 1563] in Italy and the whole European region was filled with religious strife.

The Council of Trent (Latin: Concilium Tridentinum), held between 1545 and 1563 in Trento (Trent) and Bologna, northern Italy, was one of the Catholic Church's most important ecumenical councils. Prompted by the Protestant Reformation, it has been described as the embodiment of the Counter-Reformation.

 In 1565, however, a year or so after the Council finished its work, Pius IV issued the Tridentine Creed (after Triudentum, Trento's Latin name) and his successor Pius V then issued the Roman Catechism and revisions of the Breviary and Missal in, respectively, 1566, 1568 and 1570.[Wikipedia]

The “newspapers” of the period dealt with the turmoil in striking, new ways (as the Gutenberg printer, invented 100 years earlier) allowed.

But, as the Donne piece I read, made clear, discourse about church and state, was still circumspect as various punishments were often brought to bear on those who were cavalier about the mores of the Church – Catholic and Protestant both.

But, just as early [Neanderthalian] cave art and Roman graffiti provided depiction of dicey events…

...Glaser and Coccius presented, by allegorical renderings, what was happening in society.

Note that the iconic renderings have significant religious meaning(s): crosses, a Cathedral, and Eucharistic vessels.

And in the Nuremberg woodcut, it’s a Church that has been destroyed by fire or explosion – the right, lower-corner of the woodcut.

No, the alleged UFO “wars” depicted in the 1561 and 1566 woodcuttings and articles have nothing to do with UFOs.

They are brilliant “editorial cartoons” telling readers what was going on with their religions while skirting excommunicative punishments or worse.

RR