Thousands of Norwegians witnessed a bizarre spiral of light in the sky on the morning of November 9. Still, take a look:
Update: 12/11 — Looks like the word is in, and the mysterious light show was a Russian missile launch after all.
Still, for what it’s worth, my first thought back on the 9th, after I snapped my gaping jaw shut and got over the initial shock, was that the images from Norway bore a striking resemblance to what some researchers have pointed to as a description of UFOs in the Bible.
Ezekiel 1:16 (New American Standard Bible)
The appearance of the wheels and their workmanship was like sparkling beryl, and all four of them had the same form, their appearance and workmanship being as if one wheel were within another.
“Beryl,” notably, is transparent mineral often of a blue or green color (much like in the pictures of the spiral over Norway).
The similarity of the spiral seen to the description of “wheels within wheels,” I think, needs little explanation.
What I love most (even in my awe– in the traditional definition of wonder and fear) is that this suggests, if nothing else, that modern analysis of early texts might want to give a little more credit to the historiography of ancient people. Now I’m not saying that the spiraling light was the fiery chariot of cherubim; that’s probably less likely than an alien invasion. But it is interesting to consider that, if this fiery wheel does turn out to have been a natural “astral phenomenon” as some were claiming earlier, it may have been seen sometime in the distant past as well.
We’re all quick and willing to apply “to err is human” to people of earlier centuries (how much more so for millennia?) without considering that we ourselves could be lacking vital information. Human eyewitness accounts haven’t changed so much since biblical times, even if the equipment to capture something as bizarre as a fiery “wheel within a wheel” is now available. After all, a number of Norwegians, grasping for words, compared the sight to a “Catherine wheel.”
Just a thought.