Then there is the "UFO sighting" sometime "during the reign of Thutmose III, (1504-1450 B. C.)," cited by Trench (1966):

Among the papers of the late Professor Alberto Tulli, former director of the Egyptian Museum at the Vatican, was found the earliest known record of a fleet of flying saucers written on papyrus long, long, ago in ancient Egypt. Although it was damaged, having many gaps in the hieroglyphics, Prince Boris de Rachewiltz subsequently translated the papyrus and irrespective of the many broken sections he stated that the original was part of the Annals of Thutmose III, circa 1594-1450 B. C. The following is an excerpt:

"In the year 22, of the third month of winter, sixth hour of the day... in the scribes of the House of Life it was found a circle of fire that was coming from the sky... it had no head, the breath of its mouth had a foul odor. Its body was one rod long and one rod wide. It had no voice. Their bellies became confused through it: then they laid themselves on their bellies... they went to the Pharoah, to report it... His Majesty ordered... has been examined... as to all which is written in the papyrus rolls of the House of Life. His Majesty was meditating on what happened. Now after some days had passed, these things became more numerous in the sky than ever. They shone more in the sky than the brightness of the sun, and extended to the limits of the four supports of the heavens. Powerful was the position of the fire circles. The army of the Pharoah looked on with him in their midst. It was after supper. Thereupon these fire circles ascended higher in the sky to the south. Fishes and volatiles fell down from the sky. A marvel never before known since the foundation of their land. And Pharoah caused incense to be brought to make peace on the hearth... and what happened was ordered to be written in the annals of the House of Life... so that it be remembered for ever.

As I read, reread, and compared the "Tulli Egyptian papyrus" (c. 1500 B. C.) with the Book of Ezekiel, written about 900 years later (c. 590 B. C.), I became aware of a number of striking similarities between the texts. The most celebrated and oft-quoted of the ancient "UFOs" is "Ezekiel's wheel of fire, (Old Testament, Ezekiel, Chapter One, King James Version):

1: Now it came to pass in the thirtieth year in the fourth month, in the fifth day of the month, as I was among the captives by the river of Chebar, that the heavens were opened and I saw visions of God.

4: And I looked, and behold a whirlwind came out of the north, a great cloud, and a fire infolding itself, and a brightness was about it, and out of the midst thereof as the color of amber, out of the midst of the fire.

5: Also out of the midst thereof came the likeness of four living creatures... they had the likeness of a man.

6: And every one had four faces, and every one had four wings.

10: As for the likeness of the faces, they four had the face of a man, the face of a lion... and the face of an eagle...

13: ...their appearance was like burning coals of fire, and like the appearance of lamps: it went up and down among the living creatures, and the fire was the fire bright and out of the fire went forth lightning.

15 : Now as I beheld the living creatures, behold one wheel upon the earth by the living creatures, with his four faces.

16: The appearance of the wheels and their work was like unto the colour of beryl; and they four had one likeness; and their appearance and their work was as it were a wheel in the middle of a wheel.

17: When they went, they went upon their four sides: and they turned not when they went.

18: As for their rings, they were so high they were dreadful; and their rings were full of eyes round about them four.

19: And, when the living creatures were, the wheels went by them: and when the living creatures were lifted up from the earth, the wheels lifted up.

20: ...for the spirit of the living creatures was in them.

The Book of Ezekiel consists of 48 chapters, most of which are devoted to Jehovah's bitter complaints about the immorality of his own people; and his lengthy tirades against all of Israel's enemies, especially the Pharoahs of Egypt.

29,1: In the tenth year, in the twelfth day, the word of the Lord came unto me, saying... Prophesy against... Pharoah, King of Egypt.

The "Tulli papyrus" and Ezekiel show so many exact similarities of style, language and detail in sequence, that one wonders whether, despite its alleged time priority, the "Tulli papyrus" may be taken from the King James version of the Book of Ezekiel. Or, if the "Tulli papyrus" is genuine, and its translation by Prince de Rachewiltz is accurate, then the Book of Ezekiel may have been plagiarized from the Annals of Thutmose III!

A tabulation of the similarities follows:

Egyptien Ezechiel
"the House of Scribes" "the House of Israel"
"was coming in the sky" "the heavens were opened"
"it was a circle of fire" "always referred to as wheel of fire"
"it had no head" " heads with four faces" - "everyone had four faces"
"It had no voice" "I heard a voice that spake"
"Their hearts became confused through it: then they laid themselves on their bellies" "When I saw it, I fell on my face."
"His Majesty ordered... written in rolls" "and God spread a roll before me and it was written..."
" towards the south" "out of the north"
"the brightness of the sun" "and a brightness was about it"
"it was after supper" "cause thy belly to eat."
This all takes place allegedly in Egypt during the reign of Thutmose III "in the land of Egypt." "I am against Pharaoh, king of Egypt"
" Fishes and volatiles fell down from the sky." 29:5, 3: "thee and all the fishes: thou shalt fall upon the open fields."

These dozen sequential similarities are so remarkable and raise so many questions as to the authenticity of the "Tulli papyrus," that a cable was despatched to the Egyptian section of the Vatican Museum seeking more information about both the "papyrus" and the "de Rachewiltz translation." The reply follows:

Papyrus Tulli not propriety [sic] of Vatican Museum. Now it is dispersed and no more traceable.

The Inspector to Egyptian Vatican Museum

(signed) Gianfranco Nolli

Citta del Vaticano 25 Luglio 1968

Skepticism being the mother of persistence, we nevertheless decided to trace it as far as we could. Dr. Condon wrote Dr. Walter Ramberg, Scientific Attache at the U. S. embassy in Rome. Dr. Ramberg replied:

...the current Director of the Egyptian Section of the Vatican Museum, Dr. Nolli, said that . Prof. Tulli had left all his belongings to a brother of his who was a priest in the Lateran Palace. Presumably the famous papyrus went to this priest. Unfortunately the priest died also in the meantime and his belongings were dispersed among heirs, who may have disposed of the papyrus as something of little value.

Dr. Nolli intimated that Prof. Tulli was only an amateur "Egyptologist" and that Prince de Rachelwitz is no expert either. He suspects that Tulli was taken in and that the papyrus is a fake...

Do these startling coincidences or downright hoaxes mean that all such "ancient UFO reports" are fabrications? No, it does not. But they do indicate that the authors of at least seven UFO books have attempted to build up the argument for the existence of UFOs with "case histories" taken from secondary and tertiary sources without any attempt to verify original sources, and that they orbit around each other in a merry UFO chase of mutual quotation. If any scientist or scholar had behaved similarly, he would have long since been hooted out of his profession. My conclusion: all accounts of "UFO-like sightings handed down through the ages" are doubtful - until verified.