The year 1947 ushered in the age of the flying saucer, as that was when the termed was coined, followed shortly by the Roswell incident. Since then, sightings have been frequent. But UFOs have been observed -and recorded- from antiquity. In 1541, an artist was among witnesses to one such event, and left us the above illustration.
This famous alleged UFO sighting is documented not only in words, but in a woodcut by Hans Glaser. The piece shows the sky full of strange objects and “immense” smoke rising from the earth. Glaser and many others reportedly claimed to have witnessed the occurrence in Nuremberg on April 14, 1561.
The artist included a description with his work as well as a message to skeptics. He wrote: "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. Or we speak of them with ridicule and discard them to the wind, in order that God may send us a frightening punishment on account of our ungratefulness."
There are three accounts that are even older, in a list of UFO sightings from history at Mental Floss.