The Bizarre “Cloud-Ship” Incident In 815 France

First Published: March 20, 2020 Last updated: September 2nd, 2020 Written by: Marcus Lowth Estimated Reading Time: 5 minutes Posted in: Supernatural, Folklore
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A piece of writing from France in the Middle Ages is one that appears to describe strange visitors from a realm in the sky who would sail upon the clouds in the strange skyships. What’s more, at least according to local legend, some members of the population had the ability to “summon down” these strange visitors.

A picture of a UFO hovering over a woody hill

Did a UFO visit France in the 9th century?

What is also interesting, as we will examine shortly, are what could very well be references to crop circles and formations. These strange visitors would who “came by way of the air”, would often use “wind” to flatten crops.

The fact that we have credible and official writings about strange visitors from the sky, who have connections to strange patterns and circles that they force to appear in the wheat fields of ninth century farmers.

The account can be found in various places, perhaps most notably in relation to UFO enthusiasts in the book, Wonders In The Sky by Jacques Vallee and Chris Aubeck. We should note, however, that that the original source of the account comes from the writings of Saint Agobard, who lived from (around) 769 to 840.

And it is with Agobald himself that we begin the account, as his credibility is such that we should almost certainly take his accounts more seriously than we otherwise might. Even if, as we will find, Abobald himself would document such accounts in order to dismiss them.

Archbishop Agobald – A Serious-Minded Free Thinker Of His Time!

Before his death in 840, Archbishop Agobald was not only seen as a very serious and thoughtful philosopher, but had published over 20 books and writings promoting a more enlightened way of thinking. Growing up in the Languedoc region of what is now France before moving to Lyons. He was also ahead of his times in that he was very much a “rationalist”, and against the superstitions and cries of heresy of The Church.

A copy of the text telling of the account

A copy of the text telling of the account

His writings were eventually translated from Latin to French and released under the title About Hail and Thunder (De Grandine et Tonitruis). Indeed, the translator of these writings – thought by some to be Antoine Pericaud Sr. – would state that his work “deserves the honor of being translated” as his work tells us “the mores and customs of the first half of the ninth century”. And did so “better than those of any other writer of the time”.

Pericaud, if indeed he was the translator, would go on to state that he “fought the prejudices and superstitions of his time”.

What is perhaps also interesting is that many of the writings initially came together as an attempt to discredit the false notion that such things and “winds and storms” were not merely weather, but the work of evil worshipers and “sorcerers”.

With this in mind, then, should we not treat the following encounter with a serious frame of mind?

A Place “Out Of Which Ships Came!”

Agobald would describe people who were “crazy enough” to believe in a realm named Magonia, “out of which ships came out and sail upon the clouds”. What is further interesting are claims that those who believed in such accounts, on “several” occasions, had claimed to have captured the occupants of these strange cloud-ships and then “exhibited (them) before an assembled crowd”, usually tied in chains by their captors.

It would appear on at least one of the occasions described by Agobald, he was present and willing to argue to have the captives released, which they eventually were. What became of them and whether they were merely people unfortunate enough to be in the wrong place at the wrong time is open to debate.

What is perhaps interesting here is that not only does Agobald make reference to ships in the clouds, but his writing indicates that many people had witnessed them, or at least thought they had. Was this merely down to middle age-era superstition? Or might the people of the ninth century have genuinely witnessed strange aerial vehicles?

The fact that Agobald chose to document them, however, even if from skeptical viewpoint shows how much of a reality they were for the general populace.

Superstitions Of The Middle Ages Or Accounts Of Actual Events?

It is perhaps perfectly understandable that some might put these accounts down to nothing more than superstition. Also according to the writings of Agobald, the general population would refer to those who summoned these strange visitors as the “Tempestaires”. What’s more, it was a belief that these visitors from above would come to Earth to steal “fruits, plants, and animals” to take back to their realm of existence.

In fact, it is within these superstitions that we also see tentative evidence to the appearance of crop circles. What is perhaps interesting here is that one of the earliest recorded examples of crop circles dates back to the year that Agobald writes about above. These were found in a sixteenth century woodcutting that depicted “the devil mowing patterns in a field”. What’s more, the date was, according to a BBC report, was the year 815.

In fact, according to more of his writings, it was a widely held belief at the time that the “form of crops that had been flattened” by these strange visitors was a form of “ransom”.

A superimposed UFO on to a picture of bright daytime sky

Some researchers believe UFOs have been visiting Earth for thousands of years

It is also interesting that the person seemingly responsible for these strange patterns appearing in the crops of ninth-century French farmers is the Devil. We, like many researchers, have asked before if such legendary entities as the Devil might be based upon descriptions of a creature so hideous (to an ancient population) that it is recalled in such a way.

And what should we make of the apparent connections to patterns and flattened crops and these strange beings from the sky? Many of us think of crop circles as a modern phenomenon. However, it is clear, and not only in the writings of Agobald, that such formations have been happening, for as long as human civilization has walked the Earth.

The Sighting Over Faremoutiers

In fact, another account of a strange occurrence in France is on record from 200 years previously, at least according to the writings of Bede the Venerable. According to the works, when King of Kent, Eadbald died in 640, his “27 kingdoms” were passed to his son, Earconbert. One of his daughters, Earcongota, who the writing describes as a “most virtuous virgin”, would “serve God” in a monastery in the “country of the Franks” (in what is now Faremoutiers in the region of Brie in modern-day France).

According to the writing, many great “miracles” were performed by the King of Kent’s daughter. However, it was upon her death when a truly bizarre incident occurred. She was aware of her impending fate, and “let others know her death was at hand”.

A close-up of flattened wheat

Do UFOs leave more evidence of their visits than we recognize?

She would claim to have seen a “band of men, clothed in white” who had come to carry her back home to Kent. Whether this was a premonition or not is open to debate. However, upon her death, those present at the monastery claimed to witness “choirs of angels” begin to sound out everywhere.

What’s more, when they went outside to see where the sudden music was coming from, they would claim to see a strange light descending over the top of the monastery. They would claim that this was the “power of God” who had come to take the soul of the miracle worker upon her death.

Whether the account has any truth to it or not is open to debate. If there is, however, might it be that the strange light was another example of a “cloud-ship” sighting?

Folklore Of The Past Or Genuine Accounts Of Persistent Visitation?

The account of Agobald is certainly one of intrigue. Especially when we consider his association with the documenting of crop circles at roughly the same time as these “ships” were prevalent over Lyons, and no doubt other parts of France.

We should consider that similar accounts can be found in the writings of the United Kingdom, Ireland, and the as for as the very early days of the pilgrims’ arrival in what we know today as the United States.

While there is no doubt that such accounts may have simply traveled around as the people of Europe moved from one location or another through the many conflicts of Europe, and then once more when many of those Europeans made their way to the New World. Might it be, though, that such accounts are found scattered around the world from various eras due to nothing more than the fact that that is what was seen by the local populace?

The video below looks a little further at the notion that there has been alien visitation taking place on Earth for hundreds, if not thousands of years.


The stories, accounts, and discussion in this article are not always based on proven facts and may go against currently accepted science and common beliefs. The details included in the article are based on the reports and accounts available to us as provided by witnesses and documentation.

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About Marcus Lowth

Marcus Lowth is a writer with a love for UFOs, aliens, and the Ancient Astronaut Theory, to the paranormal, general conspiracies and unsolved mysteries. He has been writing and researching with over 20 years experience. Marcus has been Editor-in-Chief for several years due to his excellent knowledge in these fields. Marcus also regularly appears as an expert on radio talk shows including Troubled Minds and Unexplained Radio discussing these topics.

You can contact Marcus via email.

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1 Comment

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  • Cynthia Nogle says:

    Can a UFO pick a truck up off the ground and shake it?

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