An illustration of the News Notice published in April 1561 showing "a celestial phenomenon" over the city of Nuremberg. Image Credit: Wikimedia Commons.

10 Things You Should Know About the 1561 Mass UFO Sighting Over Nuremberg

"In between these globes there were visible a few blood-red crosses, between which there were blood-red strips, becoming thicker to the rear and in the front malleable like the rods of reed-grass, which were intermingled, among them two big rods, one on the right, the other to the left, and within the small and big rods there were three, also four and more globes. These all started to fight among themselves, so that the globes, which were first in the sun, flew out to the ones standing on both sides, thereafter, the globes standing outside the sun, in the small and large rods, flew into the sun..."


Did you know that in 1561, a mass UFO Sighting occurred in Europe? No longer is the UFO subject discussed among “conspiracy” theorists and tinfoil-hat-wearing lunatics, as many of us had been tagged for years. No, the UFO subject has become a popular subject discussed, freely and without prejudice, among scientists and government officials worldwide.

It is no surprise; millions of people worldwide firmly believe that many of the unidentified flying objects that are seen across the world daily are, in fact, vehicles that originated not from Earth.


In other words, a major part of the global population believes that we have been and continue to be visited by beings, not from Earth.

This idea has been heavily debated in the past, and serious thought was never given to the subject until recently. This refreshed interest in UFOs can be traced back to 2017 when the NY Times published an article about UFOs and AATIP, a secret government project formed to study UFOs. Not long after, a series of UFO videos were made available to the public, part of an effort by former Blink 182 musician, singer, and songwriter Tom DeLonge and his “To the Stars Acadamy.”

US Navy pilots filmed the videos during routine patrolling and training missions and showed unidentified flying objects being chased by the Navy pilots. The videos’ objects show characteristics that manmade aircraft cannot reproduce; they fly at extreme speeds, make gravity-defying turns, and show no signs of prolusion, per the Navy pilots’ accounts.

In other words, the objects within the videos are the very definition of UFOs. Just like that, and apparently, the UFO subject was no longer deemed a conspiracy; now, there was conclusive evidence that there are things in the sky that not even the military understood.

This led to a “global” acceptance of the UFO subject, and people began to feel more comfortable speaking out about UFOs. Essentially, the UFO phenomenon went from a massive conspiracy to a subject worthy of scientific consideration in a matter of a few years.

However, the truth is that hundreds, if not thousands of years ago, our ancestors saw similar things in the sky. There was no technology back then, so people would see these things as either Omens or signs of the gods.

Back then, people saw the UFO phenomenon as something real. Something physical. Something that was, perhaps, from another realm.

Numerous accounts of UFOs back this notion up. I personally have a few favorites from that list that I consider smoking gun evidence of UFO sightings in ancient times. One of these is the so-called 1561 celestial phenomenon over the city of Nuremberg in present-day Germany.

The event took place on the morning of April 14, 1561, and many UFO investigators and authors have interpreted it as a kind of “battle” in the sky, and the description that appeared in the news notices of the same month makes it look like one.


As one of my all-time favorites, here are ten things you should know.

An illustration of the text of the celestial phenomenon over Nuremberg. Image Credit: Wikimedia Commons.
An illustration of the text of the celestial phenomenon over Nuremberg. Image Credit: Wikimedia Commons.

1561 Mass UFO Sighting

Okay, so before I actually explain the event, I need to clarify that UFO does not necessarily mean Alien or not from Earth. Of course, back then–in 1561, we didn’t have the technology we have today–so whatever phenomena took place in the sky was likely not terrestrial in origin. But even that doesn’t make it alien. Some skeptics have dismissed the 1561 celestial phenomenon as a sun dog’s apparition or another atmospherical event.

However, luckily for us, the illustrated news notice shows us what the event was like, and an artist’s drawing of the phenomenon tells us that there were objects of different shapes and sizes in the sky.

A lot of people saw the 1551 mass UFO sighting

Mass UFO sightings are not that common, but nonetheless, still, take place. In fact, one of the most popular–unexplained–mass UFO sightings took place over Phoenix, Arizona, as thousands of people reported seeing mysterious UFOs in the sky between 19:30 and 22:30. Travel back in time some 500 years, and you see something–apparently–similar over the sky of present-day Germany. The celestial phenomenon over Nuremberg was witnessed by the town’s entire population, which means it wasn’t an isolated event.

The phenomenon was important

The mass “UFO” sighting over Nuremberg was an event that left a mark on the people. It was important enough to appear in an illustrated news notice; it features an illustration of the event and a detailed description of what people saw.

The news notice

The story of the celestial phenomenon was illustrated in April 1561 on a woodcut. It was engraved by Hans Wolff Glaser, a printer, block-cutter, and woodcut tinter from Nuremberg. His most famous work, as expected, is that of the event over Nuremberg. The illustration measures 26 centimeters by 38 centimeters. The document is currently housed at the Zentralbibliothek Zürich in Switzerland.

What the broadsheet says

As revealed by the news notice, the event took place just around dan on April 14, 1561. The notice reads: “In the morning of April 14, 1561, at daybreak, between 4 and 5 a.m., a dreadful apparition occurred on the sun, and then this was seen in Nuremberg in the city, before the gates, and in the country – by many men and women.”

What the people saw

The broadsheet reveals that Nuremberg’s people witnessed seeing what is best described as an aerial battle, which was followed by the apparition of a massive black, triangular object.

A cashed UFO?

One of the most interesting objects described on the broadsheet of 1561, is the apparition of the massive black triangular object. Curiously, one of the most reported UFO shapes in present times is the triangular-shaped UFO. The Phoenix lights were described as objects of a triangular shape. The news notice from 1561 mentions that it crashed just outside the city after the massive object appeared in the sky.

Spherical and Cylindrical objects

In addition to the massive triangular UFO, the people are said to have witnessed seeing spherical and cylindrical objects in the sky. In fact, the broadsheet mostly illustrates spherical and cylindrical objects in the sky. Curiously, spherical and cylindrical UFOs are still reported in the sky to this day.

Less common objects

Although the cylindrical and spherical objects seemed to have been the most numerous, the broadsheet also mentions the apparition of objects of different shapes and sizes. The news notice describes that the people of Nuremberg also saw crosses, globes, two lunar crescents, a black spear, and tubular objects in the sky;


“In between these globes there were visible a few blood-red crosses, between which there were blood-red strips, becoming thicker to the rear and in the front malleable like the rods of reed-grass, which were intermingled, among them two big rods, one on the right, the other to the left, and within the small and big rods there were three, also four and more globes.”

Attributed to God

The new notice from 1561 does a pretty good job of describing the events. However, it also tells us what people thought they had seen. Nowhere is there mention of anything that we can attribute to technology. The writer, Hans Glaser, reveals that the people interpreted the mysterious objects as signs of God;

“Although we have seen, shortly one after another, many kinds of signs on the heaven, which are sent to us by the almighty God, to bring us to repentance, we still are, unfortunately, so ungrateful that we despise such high signs and miracles of God.”

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Sources and references:

NEBIS / All other sources and references are linked throughout the article.

Written by Ivan Petricevic

I've been writing passionately about ancient civilizations, history, alien life, and various other subjects for more than eight years. You may have seen me appear on Discovery Channel's What On Earth series, History Channel's Ancient Aliens, and Gaia's Ancient Civilizations among others.

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