Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.
(George Santayana, The Life of Reason, 1905)
Those who fail to learn from history are condemned to repeat it.
(Winston Churchill, 1948 speech to the House of Commons)
I am a man of various worlds. Perhaps at one time, men of such nature were known as Renaissance. Today, they are perhaps more akin to dinosaurs, a dying breed of curious intellectuals on the precipice of extinction. If the dinosaurs were obliterated by a massive meteor that reigned down global havoc, then interest in multiple paths of intellectual pursuits has been slowly choked out by the constraints of modern public education, both higher and lower. In 2023, historic events are unfolding all around us that require the approach from many of points of view: academic, religious, and ufological. As of this writing, our United States military has shot down at least 3 of what can only be described as Unidentified Flying Objects (UFOs) and/or Unidentified Aerial Phenomenon (UAPs). On February 10th, 2023, a UFO was shot down near Alaska. On February 11th, a UFO was shot down over Canada. Finally, on February 12th, a UFO was shot down over Lake Huron, near the state of Michigan, United States. This UFO was described as octagonal and flying at approximately 20,000 feet.
For many people, these recent events are the first time they have ever thought about mysterious and unknown flying crafts. However, today’s UAP encounters with the public and military are but the latest in centuries of recorded confrontations.
An academic is defined as a teacher or scholar in a college or institute of higher education; one who has attained a high level of education and scholarship. Yes, it is true, I do fit this definition, and I do consider myself passionate about many academic interests, including mathematics, sciences, health, wellness, history, and much more. These interests have begun to veer into what I have dubbed ‘paraknowledge’, which includes fields such as the paranormal and ufology.
It is common for academics to be lumped into the category of the not-necessarily religious, yet I grew up in a very religious household. As a child, if the church doors to the Baptist church were open, then my family was probably there. This included Sunday mornings, Sunday nights, Wednesday nights, and special events such as vacation Bible school and tent revivals. And, oh, my, the tent revivals. Traditionally held in the most sweltering of conditions of a Mississippi summer, tent revivals brought forth a wide range of emotions, from dread to exhilaration. They featured hours of prayer, healing, and singing. The threat of an eternity in Hell brought many poor frightened sinners down to the altar for a chance at redemption.
At the heart of all these religious gatherings was the oldest book in existence: the Bible. The Bible is defined as the Christian scriptures, consisting of the Old and New Testaments. Within the confines of the church, it is as authoritative of a text as Darwin’s On the Origin of Species. It is as foreboding and cautionary as Orwell’s 1984. It is also a treasure trove of ancient people’s encounters with Unidentified Flying Objects.
The next steps for most people after finding out about this usually proceed as follows:
- Disbelief. Surely, they would remember stories or verses about flying crafts.
- Language rationalization. After learning of these encounters, they must decide what sort of filter their modern brain should apply to the language that was used to describe it.
What we must keep in mind is that ancient people could have only described things they were seeing in linguistic terms of their period. If they saw flying metallurgic crafts, then they would not have written about them as a New York Times reporter describing photos captured by the military of a mysterious orb over Mosul, Iraq. If ancient scribes witnessed futuristic flying crafts, the words helicopter, or airplane would not have been a part of the stories.
Biblical UFO encounters
I want to note two things here before I describe some UFO/UAP encounters in the Bible:
- This is not intended to be a full list of encounters.
- Examples that are italicized below are as described in Biblical accounts. However, there are many different versions of Biblical texts, such as the King James and New International versions. For this writing, various versions could be spliced for fluidity. Some items, such as mathematical descriptions, have been converted into modern units.
Elijah, carried into heaven by a UFO: from the book of 2 Kings
So, Elisha said, “Please, let a double portion of your spirit be upon me.”
He replied, “You have asked a hard thing. Nevertheless, if you see me when I am taken from you, it will be so to you; but if not, it will not be so.”
As they were walking along and talking, behold, a chariot of fire and horses of fire separated the two of them, and Elijah went up by a whirlwind into heaven.
The city destroyed by a UFO: from the book of Zechariah
I looked again, and there before me was a flying scroll.
He asked me, “What do you see?”
I answered, “I see a flying scroll, 30 feet long and 15 feet wide.”
And he said to me, “This is the curse that is going out over the whole land; for according to what it says on one side, every thief will be banished, and according to what it says on the other, everyone who swears falsely will be banished.
The Lord Almighty declares, ‘I will send it out, and it will enter the house of the thief and the house of anyone who swears falsely by my name. It will remain in that house and destroy it completely, both its timbers and its stones.”
A future controlled by militaristic (helicopter-like) flying vehicles: from the book of Revelation
And the locusts looked like horses prepared for battle, with something like crowns of gold on their heads, and faces like the faces of men.
They had hair like that of women, and teeth like those of lions.
They also had thoraxes like breastplates of iron, and the sound of their wings was like the roar of many horses and chariots rushing into battle.
They had tails with stingers like scorpions, which had the power to injure people for five months.
They were ruled by a king, the angel of the Abyss. His name in Hebrew is Abaddon, and in Greek it is Apollyon.
Ezekiel’s unidentified flying object
One of the most famous instances of a potential UFO encounter in the Bible can be found in the Book of Ezekiel. In Chapter 1, Ezekiel describes seeing a “great cloud with fire enfolding itself” that is accompanied by “four living creatures.” These creatures are described as having four faces, wings, and feet like that of a calf. They also have wheels that are “full of eyes” that move in sync with the creatures’ wings.
This passage has been interpreted by some as a description of a UFO. The “great cloud” could be seen as the typical depiction of a UFO in popular culture. The four creatures and their unique features, such as their wings and feet, are not easily explained as anything but extraterrestrial. The wheels that move in sync with the creatures’ wings could be interpreted as a description of a landing gear or propulsion system.
The dramatic close encounter of Moses
In the Book of Exodus, Moses encounters a “burning bush” that is not consumed by the flames. This encounter has been interpreted by some as a potential UFO sighting. The bush is on fire, but not being consumed by the flames. This could be interpreted as a form of energy or technology that allowed the bush to appear as if it were on fire.
Then versus now
In all these instances, the descriptions are like modern-day UFO sightings, with bright lights and strange shapes. These Biblical accounts show that UFO sightings have been occurring for centuries and that the concept of UFOs has been part of human history for a long time. Today, the term UFO has been replaced by UAP, with renewed interest in the subject due to recent sightings and government investigations.
While the descriptions of potential UFO encounters in the Bible are open to interpretation, there are several instances where the descriptions match those of contemporary UAP events. As society becomes more accepting of the possibility of extraterrestrial life, it is important to examine potential connections between ancient texts and modern-day sightings. The parallels between Biblical descriptions of UFO encounters and contemporary UAP events could be significant in our understanding of extraterrestrial life, UFO/UAPs, and their potential interactions with humanity.
The field of ufology is ripe for new participants, and all are welcome. It will take a global effort on the part of all citizens to arrive at the truth about UFOs. College academics, country preachers, suburban housewives, middle school scientists…we can all look to the sky. This most recent round of UFO frenzy was all put in motion by an ordinary citizen who decided to look away from his cellphone screen and instead cast his gaze on the sky. What he saw bewildered him, and soon, this average citizen in Montana was speaking with everyone from the FAA (Federal Aviation Administration) to NORAD (North American Aerospace Defense Command). Remember, the skies are not classified. Dare to be curious. Dare to be observant. Together, we can begin to solve one of the greatest mysteries of human existence.