I Want To Believe

Are there UFOs in the Bible? What were those strange things seen in the night sky so many times throughout Israel?

There is something to be said about the night sky. Every dot of light is yet another sun with its own plethora of planets swinging in harmonic chaos as they drift in orbit. We are but a spec in the ever-expanding vastness that came to be when those first words were muttered from the mouth of God. Let there Be, and there was. And there are few heavenly events that capture our wonder more than a shooting star. To see a ball of light flash across the heavens is like witnessing a visitor from another world. 

But what if there was more to that star than meets the eye? What if we looked up and instead of a quick glimpse at a rock burning up in our atmosphere, we witnessed something a bit less, identifiable? Now, what if you lived in a time where mapping the heavens was still your primary calendar and compass? These objects might just seem a bit more out of place than before. And if you witnessed something like that, I’m sure you would document it, right? I mean, you can’t just keep something like that to yourself. Lucky for us, that’s just what many of our beloved bible characters did.

Let’s face it. We love a good UFO story. From Roswell to Area 51, the idea of other-worldly visitors captivates that nagging feeling we have suppressed since we first began looking up. The idea that maybe, just maybe, we aren’t actually alone out here. 

And Biblical history is loaded down with flying saucers, cigar-shaped hovercrafts, and beaming rays that would leave your friendly, neighborhood dairy cow shaking in their hooves. So let’s take a flight back through history and see what we can discover. Life is vast and oh so mysterious so why not take a look at things from a new perspective? We might be amazed to learn we aren’t as alone as we often believe when we gaze up at the stars.

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Before we get going, I’d like to start by setting a couple of markers to help us to follow along the same path and keep us from getting left behind along the way:

1. I am not declaring that aliens are or are not real on a biological level nor am I claiming that these stories in the Bible are of alien origin. That being said I am also not claiming they aren’t. I’ll let you decide for yourself what you believe. One way or another, looking at things in this light ought be a blast. 

2. It is often argued that humanity has to be the only creation in all the universe in order for religion to keep its validity. I just do not subscribe to this idea at all. I believe religion, creation, and the idea of life beyond our comprehension plays quite well together and if anything, adds more to to the pot than it takes away. 

One final thought: If any of this seems a bit outlandish, I ask you to take a moment and put yourself in someone else shoes er…. Sandals if you will. Because these people had no idea how to explain in the natural some of what we are about to discuss. They knew not a world with planes, trains, or cars. All they had to describe their reality is what they had previously experienced. That’s what makes so much of what we are about to talk about so PARA-normal. To you and I it’s just a bible story. To them at that time is was as far from normal as one could get.

Alright, now that we’ve gone over our pre-flight checklist, lets begin. 

In Exodus chapter 13 we find the Hebrew people wandering around the wilderness after a recent departure from their bondage in Egypt. Freedom was theirs for the taking. Well, all except their hearts were cold towards God for removing them from their comfortable lives, not that their lives were all that comfortable. To make their long journey easier, Exodus describes something that fits perfectly as a great opener for this episode. 

“21And the Lord went before them by day in a pillar of cloud to lead them along the way, and by night in a pillar of fire to give them light, that they might travel by day and by night. 22The pillar of cloud by day and the pillar of fire by night did not depart from before the people.”. 

Here we find our first encounter with an Unidentified Flying Object. We have a pillar shaped vessel, which is a common shape in UFO sightings mind you, that is assigned to provide shade to the Israelites as they walked in the scorching desert sun, but to also provide for them light in the dark. All this from the same contraption in the sky.

I don’t know about you, but that gives off some “Close Encounters” vibes when we allow our cute Sunday school portrayal of the weird fire cloud to get out of the way. No seriously, think about it. What makes more sense? A little puff of condensation that followed the Israelites around like a storm cloud in the cartoons does to someone who is in a bad mood? Oh, and then the cloud has to catch on fire and burn all night to provide light for their late travels? Or, does a solid, ship-like vessel with a few running lights  down the sides seem to make more sense. 

Just a bit further on in chapter 14 we find the scene we all know so well. Pharaoh had changed his mind and he sent his chariots to take back the now free people of Israel. And here we see the age old story play out: Moses raises his staff and all the Israelites walk across the Red Sea on dry land. But there’s a piece to this story we often gloss over. See, that vessel we just talked about is said to have gone and hovered between the Israelites and Egyptian armies, providing light for God’s people while casting darkness over Pharaoh’s. No seriously, go back and read it for yourself. 

This gives an even stronger case to the idea that this was not just some flammable cloud, this baby was solid! Stout enough to double as a shield and barrier for the Israelites as they crossed the sea. Oh, and not to mention how convenient it is to have an entire ocean to part right when this God-Spacecraft-thing is present. And as soon as it left, the waters caved back in on themselves.

But if that wasn’t enough, there’s one other part of this that gets me. Not only was this, and I use air quotes here, “Fire Cloud” a covering, a shield, and a celestial flashlight, it also dispensed food! Chapter 16 goes on to state that the image of God appeared in the cloud and declared to the people how bread would rain from heaven and they would all have enough food daily to nourish them. This is starting to sound more and more like Roswell by the second. 

The Exodus sky pillar is quite the tale but there are plenty more where that came from. Next, let’s turn over to the book of 2 kings. 

And as Elijah and Elisha went on and talked, behold, chariots of fire and horses of fire separated the two of them. And Elijah went up by a whirlwind into heaven. 12And Elisha saw it and he cried, “My father, my father! The chariots of Israel and its horsemen!” And he saw him no more.

Here we have the prophet Elijah, one of the most Godly men of the old testament. Wise in all his ways, he foretold of his departure from this earth. He already knew he was heaven bound and would not suffer a natural death. As he and his protege, Elisha were traveling along, a fiery chariot burst through the heavens, equipped with some serious horse power and with the help of a tornado, Elijah was lofted into the heavens. 

Let’s be honest, there are only a few ways this could’ve really played out. 1. Yea, God could have sent an actual chariot of fire down and sucked up Elijah like a vacuum. 2. The prophet wasn’t too keen on how nature works and he pulled a Wizard of Oz thing which would make this the most morbid-turned-miracle story ever, or 3. Elijah was beamed up like your favorite Star Trek Scotsman was behind the helm. 

If you were Elisha in this moment how do you think you would describe such an event? A flaming chariot sounds a whole lot like an object covered in lights. Flaming horses? This thing is giving me some Star Wars pod racer vibes. And a tornado? I can’t think of any other way to describe a man getting lofted off the ground and into a flaming sky-ship. But at least they brought him back ages later. I mean, Jesus said John the Baptist was Elijah if you are willing to hear it. His words not mine.

Our next stop through takes us into the tail end of the old testament. In Zachariah, chapter 5 we find this account: “1Again I lifted my eyes and saw, and behold, a flying scroll! 2And he said to me, “What do you see?” I answered, “I see a flying scroll. Its length is twenty cubits, and its width ten cubits.” 3Then he said to me, “This is the curse that goes out over the face of the whole land. For everyone who steals shall be cleaned out according to what is on one side, and everyone who swears falsely shall be cleaned out according to what is on the other side. 4I will send it out, declares the Lord of hosts, and it shall enter the house of the thief, and the house of him who swears falsely by my name. And it shall remain in his house and consume it, both timber and stones.”

Now this one really gets me. This was a vision given to the prophet as an omen to return to God and shun the ways of his fathers. Zachariah was shown many allegorical images to portray God’s emotions, thoughts, and plans. But right here almost at the end, we find non other than a flying scroll. But this time around, we actually have measurements! 

Zachariah said the scroll was twenty cubits by ten cubits. This puts the script ship at roughly 30 feet long and 15 feet wide! Looks like we have another spacecraft on our hands. But this spacecraft isn’t coming to shelter the Israelites or loft away a man of God into the heavens. No, this UFO is coming to consume the homes of whomsoever swears falsely on the name of God. This time, God isn’t playing games. And though Zachariah’s vision of the flying scroll might be more of a representation of God’s commandment, like an autonomous drone sent out to do His bidding, our next ship we will look at is God’s primary ride around the galaxies. 

All of what we have seen so far is intriguing to say the least, but that’s nothing in comparison to the next couple of tales, the first of which we find in Ezekiel chapter 1. 

“4As I looked, behold, a stormy wind came out of the north, and a great cloud, with brightness around it, and fire flashing forth continually, and in the midst of the fire, as it were gleaming metal.”

Here we see once again this fire-cloud we read about before, but this time it has an extra descriptor. It is said to gleam like metal. See, told you the cloud couldn’t have been an actual cloud. But there’s more. This next part is a lot of scripture, so hold on.

As for the likeness of the living creatures, their appearance was like burning coals of fire, like the appearance of torches moving to and fro among the living creatures. And the fire was bright, and out of the fire went forth lightning. 14And the living creatures darted to and fro, like the appearance of a flash of lightning.

“ their appearance was like burning coals of fire, like the appearance of torches moving to and fro among the living creatures. And the fire was bright, and out of the fire went forth lightning. 14And the living creatures darted to and fro, like the appearance of a flash of lightning. 15Now as I looked at the living creatures, I saw a wheel on the earth beside the living creatures, one for each of the four of them. 16As for the appearance of the wheels and their construction: their appearance was like the gleaming of beryl. And the four had the same likeness, their appearance and construction being as it were a wheel within a wheel. 17When they went, they went in any of their four directions without turning as they went. 22Over the heads of the living creatures there was the likeness of an expanse, shining like awe-inspiring crystal, spread out above their heads. 23And under the expanse their wings were stretched out straight, one toward another. And each creature had two wings covering its body. 24And when they went, I heard the sound of their wings like the sound of many waters, like the sound of the Almighty, a sound of tumult like the sound of an army. When they stood still, they let down their wings. 26And above the expanse over their heads there was the likeness of a throne, in appearance like sapphire; and seated above the likeness of a throne was a likeness with a human appearance. 27And upward from what had the appearance of his waist I saw as it were gleaming metal, like the appearance of fire enclosed all around. And downward from what had the appearance of his waist I saw as it were the appearance of fire, and there was brightness around him. 28Like the appearance of the bow that is in the cloud on the day of rain, so was the appearance of the brightness all around.

Such was the appearance of the likeness of the glory of the Lord. And when I saw it, I fell on my face.”

Honestly Ezekiel, if I saw what you just described, I’d fall on my face too. I mean let’s just take all this in. We have a man on a throne seated on an expanse that gleamed like metal. Below the metal and the throne we have what appeared to be fiery rainbows of light radiating all around. Oh, and these lights weren’t just still, no they flashed and danced. And of course, my favorite part of all this, the wheel in the wheel. If that doesn’t scream flying saucer, I really don’t know what does. 

Now, let me remind you. I am not saying this was a UFO. I actually have a pretty compelling belief of what this actually is that we will be discussing in our next episode, but this is by far one of the most unique descriptions of well, anything that the Bible ever throws our way. But it’s not our last UFO. No, we have one more we are going to be looking at and this one might just save all mankind. 

Of all the UFO stories we have covered, this one stands above the rest. Because this one isn’t just a historical account, it is said to be the ultimate fate of mankind. In Revelation  chapter 21 we find this account: 

1Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and the sea was no more. 2And I saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. 3And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Behold, the dwelling place of God is with man….15And the one who spoke with me had a measuring rod of gold to measure the city and its gates and walls. 16The city lies foursquare, its length the same as its width. And he measured the city with his rod, 12,000 stadia. Its length and width and height are equal. 17He also measured its wall, 144 cubits by human measurement, which is also an angel’s measurement…and the street of the city was pure gold, like transparent glass.

22And I saw no temple in the city, for its temple is the Lord God the Almighty and the Lamb. 23And the city has no need of sun or moon to shine on it, for the glory of God gives it light, and its lamp is the Lamb. 24By its light will the nations walk, and the kings of the earth will bring their glory into it, 25and its gates will never be shut by day—and there will be no night there.”

The earth as we know it will be destroyed and yet here we see a vision into the future to offer a glimmer of hope. I can’t help but picture the final couple of scenes in Interstellar when Matt Damon’s character wakes up from his deathly state to find himself aboard a large farming spacecraft that is used to preserve mankind as they drift toward their next habitable planet to recolonize. 

Whether you believe in life outside of our planet or not. Whether you think these accounts in the Bible were completely spiritual or a bit more…otherworldly doesn’t change the truth that there are simply things we cannot explain. It seems so improbable to us that we might not be alone yet thousands of people have witnessed similar occurrences since well, Exodus! And these sightings continue to happen to this day. 

Maybe its sleep depravation. Maybe its a natural phenomena like ball lightning or solar flares.  maybe God travels at lightspeed on a flying saucer. Or, maybe when God made you and I, He didn’t stop there. Who knows what’s out there just beyond our view or, quite possibly right here among us? Either way, I don’t think we are as alone as we allow ourselves to believe.

Featured Music

MUSIC:

Arkadaia – Written by me, Cody Johnston under teh moniker Braille Atlas. Find me on Itunes, Spotify, or anywhere you get your music.

Chance, Luck, Errors in Nature, Fate, Destruction As a Finale by Chris Zabriskie is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution license (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/) Source: http://chriszabriskie.com/reappear/ Artist: http://chriszabriskie.com/

I Am Running Down the Long Hallway of Viewmont Elementary by Chris Zabriskie is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution license (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/) Source: http://chriszabriskie.com/honor/ Artist: http://chriszabriskie.com/

Out of the Skies, Under the Earth by Chris Zabriskie is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution license (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/) Source: http://chriszabriskie.com/reappear/ Artist: http://chriszabriskie.com/

 

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