A strange disc pouring smoke and hovering over buildings has been found in a monastery wall painting thought to date from the 16th century - and UFO researchers claim it is just one of many old paintings which seem to show evidence of visitors from another world.
The image is painted on the wall on a 14th century church in Sighisoara - thought to the birthplace of Vlad the Impaler, the historical figure on whom the Dracula legend is based.
The photograph was taken by a tourist, Catalina Borta, and sent to UFO experts at the Israeli Extraterrestrials and UFOs Research Organization (EURA).
The caption on the painting says, ‘Israel, put your hope in the Lord,’ and the image is thought to date from just after 1523, when the Bible was first translated into German.
UFO experts have drawn a comparison with other well-known paintings which seem to depict flying saucers, such as the 1710 painting Baptism of Christ by Aert de Gelder.
Nigel Watson, author of the Haynes UFO Investigations Manual says, 'Flying saucers, UFOs and other weird objects in the sky have been depicted throughout the history of humanity. '
'What appear to be UFOs and aliens appear in the cave paintings of ancient man, the reigious paintings of the Renaissance period and in the works of chroniclers and storytellers.'
'Some of the most striking UFO images appear in Renaissance art. As an example, a painting titled The Crucifixion depicts two spherical flying craft that plainly have a pilot inside them. It is of 1350 vintage and hangs over the altar in the Visoki Decani Monestry, Yugoslavia.'
'In the 15th Century, The Madonna with Saint Giovannio, the artist Domenico Ghirlandaio depicts a disc-like craft with rays shooting out of it over the left shoulder of Mary. A man with a dog behind Mary are shown looking at this aerial object.'
'The Baptism of Christ painted by Aert De Gelder in 1710 is a stunning vision of a circular craft beaming rays of light that illuminate Jesus and John the Baptist. It can be viewed at the Fitzwiliam Museum Cambridge.'
'An explanation for these Biblical paintings is that they are symbolic representations of angels and that the beams of light from them represent the Holy Spirit. These beams of light can also represent the miraculous impregnation of Mary that led to the birth of Jesus. Ironically, people today are literally seeing objects like this in the sky and associate their activities with the concept of ancient astronauts that it is speculated, we worshipped as Gods in the past.'
Certainly, symbolism and artistic license is at work but whether they are based on ‘real’ sightings or belief in UFOs from other realms, or not, they still give us a sense of wonder and have a powerful impact on our psyche.