by Andrew Arnett

The modern day wave of UFO sightings took off in earnest in 1947 with the Maury Island Incident, Kenneth Arnold sighting and Roswell UFO crash. There are many theories related to why this cluster f@ck of alien ships decided to descend upon our humble and, at the time, still green planet. One such theory regards mankind’s discovery of the atomic bomb. The aliens, as it were, were curious as to what that big boom was coming from over the event horizon. Being nosey, as neighbors are want to be, they decided to take a peek over the celestial fence into our backyard. What they saw probably unnerved them – the rowdy half evolved primate race currently occupying planet Earth had somehow, perhaps miraculously, stumbled upon the invention of the atomic bomb. In their eyes, this must have been akin to you finding a baby with an AK-47 and round of ammo stock piled in its crib. With nerves rattled, the Space Beings felt that it was time for a long overdue intervention.  The rest, as they say, is (alternative) history.

If this scenario bares any semblance of truthiness, then we have to consider the possibility that our Space Neighbors have visited our planet sometime prior to the atomic age, at least with some kind of  reptilian packaged tour. And why not? But you might ask, where’s the evidence? That’s a good question and an educated answer is warranted. For starters, the iPhone had not been invented yet. In fact, cameras weren’t even invented until the late 1800s and those were crude box-like contraptions that took a lot of time to set up. Indeed, the best we had to record events back in days of yore really came down to the written word and art. But we’re here to discuss historic UFO evidence and so, we must peruse the paintings hanging in our museums. What do we find? A shit load of UFO evidence it turns out.

The Baptism of Christ, byAert De Gelde (1710)

Last time we broached this topic we examined the painting The Annunciation, with Saint Emidus (1486) by Italian artist Carlo Crivelli . Sure, there was something weird going on there. Now, turn your attention to this next offering: a painting called The Baptism of Christ painted by the artist Aert De Gelder from way back in the year 1710. That’s a long time before Kenneth Arnold, not to mention the Rendlesham Forest Incident. This Dutch painting hangs today in the Fitzwilliam Museum in Cambridge, England. The painting clearly shows a disk-shaped object hovering in the sky beaming down four rays of light on to the scene below, wherein John the Baptist is baptizing Jesus by the river Jordan in front of a large crowd. Alien theorists believe that this disc-shaped object is in fact a UFO. If so, then where, we have to wonder, did Gelder come up with such a concept?

UFO critics say that De Gelder was merely trying to capture the Bible verse of Matthew 3:16: “As soon as Jesus was baptised, he went up out of the water. At that moment heaven was opened, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and alighting on him.” What is unusual about this biblical rendering is the huge circular object floating in the sky overhead. No surprise that UFO theorists would suggest this perfectly round saucer shaped disc is a UFO. Who can blame them? It looks just like a traditional rendering of a flying saucer. Either way, the painting depicts a pivotal moment in the life of Jesus wherein the Savior appears and is ready to take up His sacred mission.

What we’ve come to find in these historical paintings with UFO implications is that often, they are couched in a religious context. This makes a lot of sense since, by the standards of the day, there was nothing akin to our advanced technological phenomena as rockets and airplanes, let alone intergalactic traveling UFOs. Religions of countless cultures offer terminology, like ‘angels,’ ‘demons’ and ‘Chariots of Fire,’ that can help the Medieval contactee get a handle on WTF he just saw. Indeed, the experience of a UFO contactee can often be life changing, similar to a religious conversion of sorts.

Aert de Gelder – Self-Portrait

Some theorists believe that De Gelder’s unique rendering of the Baptism of Jesus had something to do with his close association with his master Rembrandt. De Gelder was born and died in Dordrecht (Netherlands). He was one of Rembrandt’s last pupils while in Amsterdam, studying in his studio from 1661 to 1663. He was not only one of the most talented of Rembrandt’s pupils, but also one of his most devoted followers, for he was the only Dutch artist to paint in the tradition of Rembrandt’s late style into the 18th century. Rembrandt was a genius and a very interesting man. Because of his deep insight, he is referred to as “one of the great prophets of civilization.”

Rembrandt’s reputation as the greatest etcher in the history of the medium was established in his lifetime and never questioned since. His illustrations of scenes from the Bible however, are regarded as his greatest creative triumphs. Vincent van Gogh said of Rembrandt: “Rembrandt goes so deep into the mysterious that he says things for which there are no words in any language. It is with justice that they call Rembrandt—magician—that’s no easy occupation.”

Self-Portrait, by Rembrandt 1660

Because of his fame and his great religious insight, some theorists believe that Rembrandt had a close connection with the Vatican. And surely the Vatican must have had a great interest in Rembrandt. UFO theorists believe that Gelder’s connections with Rembrandt could have given him access to the Vatican’s art archives and the secret knowledge purported to be contained therein. As a result, they believe that Gelder conveyed some of this secret knowledge through his paintings, especially this one. What was the secret knowledge that De Gelder could have been conveying? Perhaps, according to UFOlogists, that religion, and religious concepts and terms such as baptism, immaculate conception, etc. – are ultimately scientific and technical terms, albeit a science and technology far ahead of what we have today, perhaps even – an alien technology.