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Observations placeholder

William of Newburgh - Historic rerum anglicarum – 1189, A cross shaped UFO



Type of Spiritual Experience



A description of the experience

as quoted in Wonders In The Sky - Unexplained Aerial Objects From Antiquity To Modern Times - and Their Impact on Human Culture, History, and Beliefs - Jacques Vallee and Chris Aubeck 

9 August 1189, Dunstaple, Bedfordshire, England

Numerous amazed observers see the sky "open up" as a huge cross hovers till midnight.  The British monastic chronicler William of Newburgh (1136-1198) noted the sightings of several prodigies in the sky in his Historic rerum anglicarum [History of England], a philosophical commentary dealing with his own times. In chapter four of Book VI, we read:

"Nor ought I to pass over in silence a most amazing and fearful prodigy, which about this time was seen in England by many, who to this day are witnesses of it to those who did not see it. There is upon the public road which goes to London a town, by no means insignificant, called Dunstaple.

"There, as certain persons happened to be looking up at the sky in the afternoon, they saw in the clear atmosphere the form of the banner of the Lord, conspicuous by its milky whiteness, and joined to it the figure of a man crucified, such as is painted in the church in remembrance of the passion of the Lord, and for the devotion of the faithful (...)

"When this fearful sight had thus been visible for some time, and the countenances and minds of those who were curiously watching it were kept in suspense, the form of the cross was seen to recede from the person who seemed affixed to it, so that an intermediate space of air could be observed between them; and soon afterwards this marvelous vision disappeared; but the effect remained, after the cause of this prodigy was removed."

Other sources: the case is also mentioned by writers Thomas Wykes (with a date of 1191), Wilhelmus Parvus, and Walther of Hermingford (the latter two give a year of 1189).

The source of the experience

Writers other

Concepts, symbols and science items



Science Items


Activities and commonsteps