An unidentified flying object, or UFO, in its most general definition, is any visible anomaly in the sky that cannot be identified as a known object or phenomenon. Although this definition covers any unexplained aerial phenomenon, in popular culture the term has become synonymous with extraterrestrial spacecraft.
UFO sightings throughout history
UFO sightings have been reported throughout human history and in different parts of the world, raising questions about life on other planets and whether aliens have visited Earth. They have become one of the main subjects of interest and inspiration for numerous films and books. Unfortunately, however, they are also the target of intense ridicule.
For decades, there have been attempts, whether deliberate or not, to downplay the significance of UFOs and create a public belief in society that UFOs are part of some elaborate hoax. Nevertheless, reports of unexplained UFO sightings from the air have been received throughout human history, from prehistoric times to the present day.
Some ancient images of objects flying in the sky were undoubtedly astronomical in nature, most likely comets, bright meteors and planets that can be seen with the naked eye, or atmospheric optical phenomena such as lenticular clouds.
An example is Halley's comet, which was first recorded by Chinese astronomers in 240 BC, and possibly as early as 467 BC. Throughout human history, such phenomena have often been viewed as supernatural portents, angels, or other religious omens.
However, we cannot simply assume that what our ancient ancestors saw and wrote on cave walls or in ancient texts was an astronomical or ecological phenomenon. As with today's phenomena, there is a small percentage of phenomena that are simply inexplicable. Many records from our ancient past certainly spark curiosity, such as the prehistoric cave paintings.
The rock paintings bear a striking resemblance to those painted hundreds of years later on the 16th century Triumph of Summer tapestry. The UFO images on this tapestry are also closely related to modern UFO stories. There are also Aboriginal rock carvings depicting Wanjin's celestial beings who appear to represent alien guests.
The mythology of the sky gods as early UFO sightings
Supporters of the version about ancient astronauts refer to numerous myths and legends about the so-called "heavenly gods" descending from heaven, and historical texts dating back 4,000 years ago contain descriptions of flying spaceships. In the Vedic literature of India, such as the Rig Veda, Mahabharata and Ramayana, there are many descriptions of flying machines called vimanas, which were used in warfare in ancient times. It was believed that vimanas could fly in the atmosphere of the Earth, as well as in space, on distant planets and dive under water.
In the pyramids of Egypt, archaeologists have discovered hieroglyphs resembling UFOs, which are described in observations to this day. Centuries later, gold artifacts from the pre-Columbian era of Quimbaya were found in Central America, which look like ideal models of flying ships. Later, during the medieval period, many works of art were created that depicted UFOs in the sky.
As the debunkers correctly point out, none of these ancient depictions alone can be considered conclusive evidence of the existence of extraterrestrial life. But they at least suggest that extraterrestrials did visit Earth, and that, just as people today regularly report the appearance of unidentified objects in the sky, our ancient ancestors could have encountered objects that they could neither identify nor explain.