ObscUrban Legend Wikia
Plague-Bearing UFO
Type UFO Sighting
Continent Europe
Country Italy
One-Time? No
Theories  · Extraterrestrial craft
 · Act of God
 · Folklore

Plague-Bearing UFO was a bizarre account from the dark ages of cigar shaped objects spreading a "disturbing mist" before outbreaks of bubonic plague.[1]


Gianfranco degli Esposti writes that;

“reports relating to the period of the famous Black Plague, between 1347 and the 1350, speak of strange cigar-shaped objects slowly crossing the sky, sometimes at low altitude, dispersing in their passage a disturbing mist.” He attributes the Black Plague to these objects because “immediately after the appearance of these shocking events, the epidemic exploded in that area.” In Florence a huge mass of vapors appeared in the sky, coming from the north. It spread throughout the land. In the East in the same year, many animals fell from the sky. Their decomposing animal carcasses were said to make the air fetid and to cause the spread of the infamous illness that was fatal in India, Asia, and Britain. In Florence alone it killed 60,000 people."[2][3]

Possible Explanations[]

  • A misremembered natural phenomena garbled through years of folkloric retelling. The story was archived by the aforementioned Gianfranco centuries after it was supposedly current. Until earlier sources are discovered it is possible that this is a retrospective folkloric tale attached to the real history of the plague.
  • An extraterrestrial craft.
  • An act of god or wonder-sign. This was how the event was understood by the author and presumably the contemporaneous audience. Strange things seen in the sky were taken to be cosmic symbolic messages concerning the order of the kingdom and Gods judgement of man. In this sense the story adds a religious imperative to the plague, which was poorly understood in its time.
  • The psychosocial hypothesis of Jacques Vallee supposes that a collective belief can form substantive apparitions.
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