Christopher Columbus saw a ‘UFO’ according to the book Beyond Earth: Man's Contact with UFOs in reference to 'The Life and Voyages of Christopher Columbus' (1850). Columbus saw ‘a light glimmering at a great distance’ that …vanished, only to reappear several times during the night, each time dancing up and down ‘in sudden and passing gleams’.
Michaelangelo (1475-1564) became an apprentice in 1488 to Ghirlandaio just two years after Carlos Crivelli (c. 1435-c. 1495) painted “The Annunciation of St. Emidius” in 1486. Crivelli’s painting clearly shows a flying saucer-like UFO shining a light downward.
Domenico Ghirlandaio (1449-1494) painted “The Madonna with Saint Giovaninno” that shows another UFO-like image in the background. It is known only to be from the 15th century, but given that Ghirlandaio died in 1494, it is likely that Michaelangelo was with Ghirlandaio during or after the painting was completed.
Leonardo da Vinci (1452-1519) is considered a great visionary for designing his armored car around 1485 AD and for trying to design and build a flying machine around 1500 AD. He drew much inspiration from the natural environment. Seeing a UFO in the sky or even in the paintings of other great artists of his time might have given him two ideas. One was the flying saucer-like armored car and the other separate flying machine.
Imagine what it might have been like to overhear these Renaissance men gathered at an Italian bistro on a warm Tuscan afternoon. What would they have said about UFOs and the possibility of extraterrestrial civilizations? Collectively, they had vast knowledge from multiple areas of art, science, medicine, philosophy, religion, commerce, and more.
Such a conversation could have happened 100 years before Galileo arrived to expand on the astronomy work of Copernicus. Coincidentally, Galileo Galilei was born Feb. 15, 1564, just three days before Michaelangelo died.
We will never know how much these men were influenced by ‘UFOs’. We’ll never know what they might have discussed about extraterrestrial civilizations. But there’s a common theme in stories of extraterrestrial visitors -- they often make their presence known to those with lasting influence.
Was that the case with these great men of the Renaissance? If so, then the extraterrestrial intelligent beings could not have picked a better group. Even as a fictional dialogue, such a gathering of great minds to ponder our place among other galactic civilizations would make an intriguing novel or feature film.