Mythologies are full of events that could be interpreted, if they happened instead within the last six plus decades, as a UFO event. The ‘Star of Bethlehem’ and ‘Wheel of Ezekiel’ are both cases in point from Biblical mythology. Many of the mythological ‘gods’ or characters rode around in aerial or fiery chariots, perhaps akin to what was seen at Fatima in 1917. A UFO chariot by any other name is still a UFO chariot even if by 1917 no one interprets unknown flying (or dancing) lights in the sky as actual ‘chariots’. On the other hand, the phrases ‘unidentified flying objects’ or ‘flying saucers’ weren’t yet in vogue. So post ‘chariot’ mythology, yet pre our modern UFO era, we have neither ‘chariots’ nor ‘flying saucers’ but perhaps a dancing Sun.
Okay, so we have possible Biblical, therefore religious, UFOs associated with Ezekiel (that ‘Wheel’), the Birth of Christ (‘Star’ of Bethlehem), Jonah (inside the belly of the UFO), and Joshua (who was provided some additional illumination by some UFOs). Another classic and more plausible UFO event in a religious context was the so-called ‘miracle of the Sun’ which occurred on 13 October 1917 near Fatima in Portugal.
As the story goes and unfolds, we have three children ucdm out mucking about in the fields doing your typical child thing (actually they were herding sheep) when behold they receive a vision of a lovely lady in May 1917 who is reputed to be the Virgin Mary. They receive all sorts of wondrous messages and prophecies from her as well as being required to do rituals of prayer and penance and all those other things required of the faithful. Of course who is going to take the word of three kids regarding their visions which kept repeating monthly like a stuck LP? It takes a little while, a while which also included some rather brutal treatment of the kids at the hands of officialdom, but the kids finally convince their elders and Doubting Thomas’s that they aren’t pulling pranks and are really telling the God’s honest truth! But, to put the matter to rest, a miracle was promised by the Virgin Mary (otherwise called ‘Our Lady of Fatima’) as related by those three young children to occur on that date – the 13th of October noted above – at High Noon (if I recall correctly).
Of course a large and expectant crowd gathered on the commons to witness whatever miracle was about to unfold. Although the weather on the day was petty wet, just in time the Sun broke through the thinning overcast clouds and made an appearance. The gathered crowd, some 30,000 to 100,000 in number (the usual figure is given as roughly 70,000) saw some highly unusual luminous phenomena. Witnesses spoke of the Sun appearing to change colors, rotate like a wheel, and do zigzags and in general perform an aerial version of the tango. Now a key point being here those witnesses were able to actually look directly with no discomfort at the Sun – if Sun it was.
Now not everyone saw the same things, and witnesses gave widely varying descriptions of the ‘Sun’s dance’. Not all witnesses reported in fact seeing the Sun ‘dance’. Some people only saw the radiant colors, and others, including some believers, saw nothing at all. The phenomenon (in various guises) however was claimed to have been witnessed by most people in the crowd as well as by people many miles away.
However, and why is this of little surprise, no movement or other phenomenon of the Sun was registered by scientists at the time. Since scientists observed no actual movement of the Sun; since it was a generally overcast day, it’s probable the witnesses to the ‘Sun dance’ and the changing of the colors, wasn’t the real Sun at all but was a bona-fide UFO, making an appearance on schedule to bring credibility to the prophecy, the kids and the apparently supernatural nature of the Virgin Mary apparition.
Since it’s blatantly clear that a ‘dancing Sun’ is a violation of celestial physics some other explanation(s) have to be advanced to account for what happened. Could it have been a UFO?
Here are your options: 1) A Supernatural God, on behalf of His favourite girl, the Virgin Mary, works a miracle and allows a whole lot of people to watch the Sun do cartwheels in defiance of celestial physics; 2) There was no such event in reality and witnesses were smoking a bit too much of the good stuff – the option any sane betting person would take except it’s hard to discount 70,000 eyewitnesses and the many statements attesting to the event which are on the public record; 3) the story has some sort of foundation, in which case the violation of basic celestial physics – the Sun doesn’t and can’t dance in the sky – was only apparent and had to have been something else. Sceptics suggest it was anything from mass hallucinations/wishful thinking, to false images caused by staring at the real Sun to an optical phenomenon called a mock sun or sundog (though that would be a hell of a coincidence). But, perhaps that something else, had it been post-June 1947, might have been termed a UFO.