UFO Conjectures

Tuesday, September 17, 2019

Wonders [on the ground and in the mind]

Copyright 2019, InterAmerica, Inc.

In the terrific Chris Aubeck and Jacques Vallee book Wonders in the Sky [Jeremy P. Tarcher Penguin, 2009, Paperback], on Pages 165-166, is a tale, in the time-frame of the Nuremberg and Basel broadsheets argued here a short time ago:

On July 20, 1571 in Prague, Czechoslovakia the people of the city, awakened by a great wind and rumbling noise, look- ing towards the cattle fair [now Charles Square], saw an army marching along Spalena Street.

The soldiers, holding weapons, were being followed by something resembling “a large round ‘chariot’ drawn by an oxen.” 

The object, making a loud noise seemed to be made of metal “and had no wheels. Eight large human figures” marched behind the vehicle. The figures had no faces and wore “enormous spurs.”

After they crossed the square, “a great fire appeared” near a large number of boxes and barrels, that looked like those that carried gunpowder. The boxes and barrels were thrown on the fire.

A “frightful wind” arose, and a kind of “rain of fire” took place during which the “horrifying vision disappeared. However, a luminous object could be made out in the air, a circle of fire that persisted until dawn. That year there was a great famine and many people died.”

The source given for this account is J. Beckovský. (My Czech is not good or extant so the rest of the source eludes me, but this may help those who want to check out this event, and is provided on Page 166: V Praze, nákladem Dĕdictví sv. Prokopa, pismem knihtiskárn B. Stýblovy 1879-1880.)

Besides the novel description of this alleged occurrence is the further addendum that a great famine was taking place at the time, which seemed to elicit the eerie event just as religious foment brought about those weird “editorial cartoons” seen in the Nurem- berg/Basil broadsheets for the Gazette “newspapers” in 1561 and 1566.

If the account noted above from the interesting Aubeck/Vallee book is authentic, it confirms my speculation that such imaginative “reports” [UFOs and otherwise] are brought forth from the anxiety and ferment that human tragedies inspire in creative types: artists and writers.

RR

10 Comments:

  • To say more than enough, given you say so little new:

    in general, Aubeck's and Vallée's book is seriously flawed, as at least two critics have observed in painful detail and Vallée himself admitted (attempting to raise funds for a new, corrected edition).

    That being said (and it says nothing about the tale you share here specifically), we don't really know the source, other than it's from a collection of old Czech stories or tales, written or collected by Jan Beckovsky and edited by Dr Antonin Rezek. So, unlike the Nuremberg and Basel broadsheets (Flugblaetter), we don't know its genre, so we don't know how to interpret it, so your claim that it is an "'imaginative' report" gets us nowhere (there being no such genre at the time).

    Given what we do know about the print media at the time, it reads more like a tale of wonders or prodigies, whose veracity is surely up for debate (I've admitted as much myself, and with greater warrant) but less so than you seem to think.

    When you can query a scholar of Renaissance Czech print media to clarify the matter with some _facts_, let us know. I'd be more than interested in taking up the matter anew, when something new, in fact, is thrown into the mix.

    By Blogger Bryan Sentes, at Tuesday, September 17, 2019  

  • -> If the account noted above from the interesting Aubeck/Vallee book is authentic, it confirms my speculation that such imaginative “reports” [UFOs and otherwise] are brought forth from the anxiety and ferment that human tragedies inspire in creative types: artists and writers.<-

    *

    So for that time period, what was the luminous object that could be made out in the air, a circle of fire that persisted until dawn!?.......?

    *


    -> A “frightful wind” arose, and a kind of “rain of fire” took place during which the “horrifying vision disappeared. However, a luminous object could be made out in the air, a circle of fire that persisted until dawn.<-

    By Blogger Daniel, at Tuesday, September 17, 2019  

  • "Persisted until dawn" is the key to a phenomenon rather than an artifact or object sitting lazily in the sky, Daniel.

    And if it has symbolic or metaphorical meaning (reality), the matter is even less ufological.

    RR

    By Blogger RRRGroup, at Tuesday, September 17, 2019  

  • Bryan...

    We can interpret before the fact (a query of a Czech Renaissance print scholar), to much travail by academia and you.

    To pursue, prematurely, without interest by others, is where scholar go awry, with their works sitting in remainder bins.

    (There is a nice piece about that in the latest NYRB issue.)

    RR

    By Blogger RRRGroup, at Tuesday, September 17, 2019  

  • But Rich, the key to the phenomenon, may be the artifact, itself, sitting lazily in the sky.

    We can't rule that idea out,and no way of really knowing.I mean the people of that time period, wouldn't be thinking as we do today, about UFO. They would describe what they see, as we have read, and we today, are left with how to interpret that phenomenon.I guess we see it, the way we want to see it, just like the Bible........

    By Blogger Daniel, at Tuesday, September 17, 2019  

  • If only the "ring in the sky" were the main feature of the story, Daniel.

    But it isn't.

    There's something else going on, although the apparition may have been the catalyst for what precedes it in the narrative.

    Such "events" as provided offer speculation, and that's what we're about, you and I and a few others here.

    So, let's keep at it.

    RR

    By Blogger RRRGroup, at Tuesday, September 17, 2019  

  • The book is full of errors and misrepresentations.

    http://www.jasoncolavito.com/blunders-in-the-sky.html

    Especially the ancient stuff, which is the part that fringe writers seem to have found most impressive, is full of examples where Vallee and Aubeck have either dishonestly described an obvious astrological phenomenon as if it's a physical description, or else stupidly taken someone else's word for the same and failed to check primary sources. ALWAYS CHECK PRIMARY SOURCES. It's like fringe writers think they'll die if they do the 15 minutes research to find the primary sources.

    By Blogger Scott Hamilton, at Wednesday, September 18, 2019  

  • I don't think, Scotty, that Vallee and/or Aubeck pushed forward the book with any dishonest intent...maybe a lax inclusion of some listings that they received from persons they deemed as credible.

    The problem is also exacerbated by mixing some iffy tales alongside some legitimate offerings.

    As Bryan Sentes notes, in a comment above, Vallee is working to provide a corrected edition.

    RR

    By Blogger RRRGroup, at Wednesday, September 18, 2019  

  • RRRGroup, my name is Scott, not Scotty. Thank you for your commitment to accuracy and civility.

    You can "think" that Vallee and Aubeck had no dishonest intent, but the evidence suggest the opposite. Heavily. Take, for example, the entry on Mithras Liturgy. They quote three sentences, from different parts of the text, and present them as a discrete eye-witness account. It's not. It's not even close. This is either dishonesty, or gross incompetence that they should apologize for.

    And while they produced a corrected version, no one has it because there were only 175 copies. If they were really worried about accuracy and integrity they would use their own money to put the corrected (and far less compelling) version into print to make up for their mistakes. Oh, they tried to soak people for even more money to increase the "corrected" print run to 500? What a portrait of intellectual honesty Valleee and Aubeck are.

    By Blogger Scott Hamilton, at Wednesday, September 18, 2019  

  • Sorry Scott...

    I thought you were a friend of mine here in Fort Wayne, Scott Hamilton.

    I can't vouch for Vallee, but I would have assumed him to be above reproach.

    Chris Aubeck is known as a decent fellow.

    I'd like to think they both were victims of laxity rather than dishonesty. Maybe our pal Bryan Sentes can illuminate the situation further.

    Thanks for the input and I know how grown-ups hate being called by their childhood sobriquets. I got chastised for calling a guy here Timmy, and not Tim....and no, it wasn't Tim Hebert.

    RR

    By Blogger RRRGroup, at Wednesday, September 18, 2019  

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