If you look enough, you can find modern parallels and equivalences of just about everything in the Bible, even some of the greatest perplexities — such as the fiery “wheel” described by the prophet Ezekiel (Ezekiel 1:16-21)
Let’s quickly revisit his strange visions.
“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,” he said. “Whenever they moved, they moved in any of their four directions without turning as they moved.
“As for their rims they were lofty and awesome, and the rims of all four of them were full of eyes round about.
“Whenever the living beings moved, the wheels moved with them. And whenever the living beings rose from the earth, the wheels rose also. Wherever the spirit was about to go, they would go in that direction. And the wheels rose close beside them; for the spirit of the living beings was in the wheels. Whenever those went, these went; and whenever those stood still, these stood still. And whenever those rose from the earth, the wheels rose close beside them; for the spirit of the living beings was in the wheels.”
Very intriguing. And flummoxing.
That was six centuries before Christ.
Now we fast-forward to May of 1880 — when, according to a fellow named Lee Fore Brace — a passenger heading up the Persian Gulf aboard the British India Company’s Patna — “there suddenly appeared on each side of the ship an enormous luminous wheel, whirling around, the spokes of which seemed to brush the ship along. The spokes would be two or three hundred yards long…”
There was a luminosity (“fire”) that he compared to a phosphorescent “gleam.” It was witnessed also by the captain and third officer.
Then: on December 20, 1893, many in Virginia, North Carolina, and South Carolina reported a luminous body that passed east-west overhead.
At one point it reportedly stood still for fifteen to twenty minutes — an enormous wheel that was brilliant white. This object or light or whatever it was suddenly disappeared.
Our strange planet…
Caution: one sighting in 1848 included a strong sulfurous odor.
In 1891, a report was sent to admiralty by another captain who served as hydrographer of the British Navy in the China Sea.
Like the first instance, this too — curiously — occurred in the Persian Gulf.
One of the nations that borders the gulf is Iraq.
Ezekiel lived in what is modern-day Iraq in a town called Tel Abib.
The date: May 15, 1879. This time such a wheel was seen just below the waves. “On looking toward the east, the appearance was that of a revolving wheel with a center on that bearing, and whose spokes were illuminated, and looking toward the west, a similar wheel appeared to be revolving, but in the opposite direction,” wrote the commander of the Vulture, J. E. Pringle.
What is this stuff — if anything? UFO aficionados have long argued that Ezekiel had seen extraterrestrial craft, for he also mentions beings associated with the “wheels.”
We’re more than a bit wary of such assertions; there is much spiritual phenomena that seems behind such sightings (when such sightings bear any legitimacy, and are not imaginings, mistaken aerial objects, or hoax).
During the last century — on June 10, 1909, at that curious hour of three a.m., the Nautical Meteorological Annual reported — the captain of a steamship called Bintang, sailing through the Strait of Mallacca (between the Malay peninsula and Sumatra), said he saw a gigantic revolving wheel with “long arms” issuing from the center around which the whole thing seemed to rotate.
It was flat on the water. In this case: an unidentified floating object (if it was anything).
He watched it for a full fifteen minutes, according to a chronicler of the arcane (Charles Fort).
It moved and vanished when it was just ahead of the Bintang.
Hallucinations or optical illusions at sea (known, for sure, to occur)?
You decide. We have no idea.
In 1910, another was seen in the air, rotating with flashes…
Hallucination does not seem to fit in this case, though one could hold to the conjecture of an illusion.
Might they be like the sun miracle at Fatima (at least in Ezekiel’s case)? The sun spun there in the sky — tossing forth flame, sort of a wheel.
Christopher Columbus and his crew saw a strange fire on their first voyage to what became known as the Americas… Scholars still argue over what it was… An incredible comet led Admiral Pedro Menendez to Florida…
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