The Black Death

by William Bramley

Europe in the 13th century was beginning so recover from the economic and social disruption caused by the Crusades. Signs of a European renaissance were visible in the widening of intellectual and artistic horizons. Trade with other parts of the world did much to enrich European life. Europe was entering an era in which chivalry, music, art, and spiritual values were playing greater roles. Hardly a century of this progress had passed, however, before a disastrous event abruptly brought it to a temporary halt That event was the Bubonic Plague, also known as the Black Death.

The Black Death began in Asia and soon spread to Europe where it killed well over 25 million people (about one third of Europe’s total population) in less than four years. Some historians put the casualty figure closer to 35 to 40 million people, or about half of all Europeans.

The epidemic first spread through Europe between 1347 and 1350. The Bubonic Plague continued to strike Europe with decreasing fatality every ten to twenty years in short-lived outbreaks all the way up until the 1700’s. Although it is difficult to calculate the total number of deaths from that 400-year period, it is believed that over 100 million people may have died from the Plague. Two types of plague are believed to have caused the Black Death. The first is the “bubonic” type, which was the most common. The bubonic fern of plague is characterized by swellings of the lymph nodes; the swellings are called “buboes.” The buboes are accompanied by vomiting, fever, and death within several days if not created. This form of plague is not contagious between human beings: it requires an active carrier, such as a flea. For this reason. many historians believe that flea-infested rodents caused the Bubonic Plague. Rodents are known to carry the disease even today. A number of records from between 1347 and the late 1600’s speak of rodent infestations prior to several outbreaks of the Black Death, lending credence to the rodent theory.

The second form of plague contributing to the Black Death is a highly contagious type known as “pneumonic” plague. It is marked by shivering, rapid breathing, and the coughing up of blood. Body temperatures are high and death nom ally follows three to four days after the disease has been contracted. This second type of plague is nearly always fatal and transmits best in cold weather and in poor ventilation. Some physicians today believe it was this second form, the “pneumonic” plague, which was responsible for most of the

casualties of the Black Death because of the crowding and poor hygienic conditions then prevalent in Europe. We would normally shake our heads at this tragic period of human history and be thankful that modern medicine has developed cures for these dread diseases. However, troubling enigmas about the Black Death still linger. Many outbreaks occurred in summer during warm weather in uncrowded regions. Not all outbreaks of bubonic plague were preceded by rodent infestation; in fact, only a minority of cases seemed to be related to an increase in the presence of vermin. The greatest puzzle about the Black Death is how it was able to strike isolated human populations which had no contact with earlier infected areas. The epidemics also tended to end abruptly.

To solve these puzzles, an historian would normally look to records from the Plague years to see what people were reporting. When he does so, he encounters stories so stunning and unbelievable that he is likely to reject them as the fantasies and superstitions of badly frightened minds. A great many people throughout Europe and other Plaguestricken regions of the world were reporting that outbreaks of the Plague were caused by foul-smelling “mists.” Those mists frequently appeared after unusually bright lights in the sky. The historian quickly discovers that “mists” and bright lights were reported far more frequently and in many more locations than were rodent infestations. The Plague years were, in fact, a period of heavy UFO activity.

What, then, were the mysterious mists?

There is another very important way in which plague germs can be transmitted: through gem weapons. The United States and the Soviet Union today have stockpiles of biological weapons containing bubonic plague and other epidemic diseases. The germs are kept alive in canisters which spray the diseases into the air on thick, often visible, artificial mists. Anyone breathing in the mist will inhale the disease. There are enough such germ weapons today to wipe out a good portion of humanity. Reports of identical disease-inducing mists from the Plague years strongly suggest that the Black Death was caused by germ warfare. Let us take a look at the incredible reports which lead to that conclusion.

The first outbreak of the Plague in Europe followed an unusual series of events. Between 1298 and 1314, seven large “comets” were seen over Europe; one was of “awe-inspiring blackness.”‘ One year before the first outbreak of the epidemic in Europe, a “column of fire” was reported over the Pope’s palace at Avignon, France. Earlier that year, a “ball of fire” was observed over Paris; it reportedly remained visible to observers for some time. To the people of Europe, these sightings were considered omens of the Plague which soon followed.

It is true that some reported “comets” were probably just that: comets. Some may also have been small meteors or fireballs (large blazing meteors). Centuries ago, people were generally far more superstitious than they are today and so natural meteors and similar prosaic phenomena were often reported as precursors to later disasters even though

there was no real-life connection. On the other hand, it is important to note that almost amy unusual object in the sky was called a “comet.” A good example is found in a best-selling book published in 1557: A Chronicle of Prodigies and Portents. . .-‘ by Conrad Lycosthenes. On page 494 of Lycosthenes’ book we read of a “comet” observed in the year 1479: “A comet was seen in Arabia in the manner of a sharply pointed wooden beam . . .” The accompanying illustration, which was based on eyewitness descriptions, shows what clearly looks like the front half of a rocket ship among some clouds. The object appears to have many portholes. Today we would call the object a UFO, not a comet. This leads us to wonder how many other ancient “comets” were actually similar rocket like objects. When we are confronted with an old report of a comet, we therefore do not really know what kind of thing we are dealing with unless there is a fuller description. A report of a sudden increase in “comets” or similar celestial phenomena may, in fact, mean an increase in UFO activity.

The link between unusual aerial phenomena and the Black Death was established immediately during the first outbreaks of the Plague in Asia. As one historian tells us:

The first reports [of the Plague] came out of the East. They were confused, exaggerated, frightening, as reports from that quarter of the world so often are: descriptions of storms and earthquakes: of meteors and comets trailing noxious gases that killed trees and destroyed the fertility of the land.

The above passage indicates that strange flying objects were doing more than just spreading disease: they were also apparently spraying chemical or biological defoliants from the air. The above passage echoes the ancient Mesopotamian tablets which described defoliation of the landscape by ancient Custodial “gods.” Many human casualties from the Black Death may have been caused by such defoliants.

The connection between aerial phenomena and plague had begun centuries before the Black Death. We saw examples in our earlier discussion of Justinian’s Plague. We read from another source about a large plague that had reportedly broken out in the year 1117Dalmost 250 years before the Black Death. That plague was also preceded by unusual celestial phenomena:

In 1117, in January, a comet passed like a fiery army from the North towards the Orient, the moon was overcast blood-red in an eclipse, a year later a light appeared more brilliant than the sun. This was followed by great cold, famine, and plague, of which one-third of humanity is said to have perished.

Once the medieval Black Death got started, noteworthy aerial phenomena continued to accompany the dread epidemic. Reports of many of these phenomena were assembled by Johannes Nohl and published in his hook, The Black Death, A Chronicle of the Plague (1926). According to Mr. Nohl, at least 26 “comets” were reported between 1500 and 1543. Fifteen or sixteen were seen between 1556 and 1597 In the year 1618, eight or nine were observed. Mr. Nohi emphasizes the connection which people perceived between the comets and subsequent epidemics:

In the year 1606 a comet was seen, after which a general plague traversed the world. In 1582 a comet brought so violent a plague upon Majo, Prague, Thuringia, the Netherlands, and other places that in Thuringia it carried off 37,000 and in the Netherlands 46,415.

From Vienna, Austria, we get the following description of an event which happened in 1568. Here we see a connection between an outbreak of Plague and an object described in a manner remarkably similar to a modem cigar or beam shaped UFO:

When in sun and moonlight a beautiful rainbow and a fiery beam were seen hovering above the church of St. Stephanie, which was followed by a violent epidemic in Austria, Swabia, Augsberg, Wuenemberg, Nuremburg, and other places, carrying off human beings and cattle.

Sightings of unusual aerial phenomena usually occurred from several minutes to a year before an outbreak of Plague. Where there was a gap between such a sighting and the arrival of the Plague, a second phenomenon was sometimes reported: the appearance of frightening humanlike figures dressed in black. Those figures were often seen on the outskirts of a town or village and their presence would signal the outbreak of an epidemic almost immediately. A summary written in 1682 tells of one such visit a century earlier:

In Brandenburg [in Germany] there appeared in 1559 humble men, of whom at first fifteen and later on twelve were seen. The foremost had beside their posteriors little heads, the others fearful faces and long scythes, with which they cut at the oats, so that the swish could be heard at a great distance, but the oats remained standing. When a quantity of people came running out to see them, they went on with their mowing.

The visit of the strange men to the oat fields was followed immediately by a severe outbreak of the Plague in Brandenburg.

This incident raises intriguing questions: who were the mysterious figures? What were the long scythe-like instruments they held that emitted a loud swishing sound? It appears that the “scythes” may have been long instruments designed to spray poison or germ-laden gas. This would mean that the townspeople misinterpreted the movement of the “scythes” as an attempt to cut oats when, in fact, the movements were the act of spraying aerosols on the town. Similar men dressed in black were reported in Hungary:

… in the year of Christ 1571 was seen at Cremnitz in the mountain towns of Hungary on Ascension Day in the evening to the great perturbation [disturbance] of all, when on the Schuelersberg there appeared so many black riders that the opinion was prevalent that the Turks were making a secret mid, but who rapidly disappeared again, and thereupon a raging plague broke out in the neighborhood.’

Strange men dressed in black, “demons,” and other terifying figures were observed in other European communities The frightening creatures were often observed carrying long “brooms,” “scythes,” or “swords” that were used to “sweep” or “knock at” the doors of people’s homes. The inhabitants of those homes fell ill with plague afterwards. It is from these reports that people created the popular image of “Death” as a skeleton or demon carrying a scythe. The scythe came to symbolize the act of Death mowing down people like stalks of grain. In looking at this haunting image of death, we may, in fact, be staring into the face of the UFO. Of all the phenomena connected to the Black Death, by far the most frequently reported were the strange, noxious “mists.” The vapors were often observed even when the other phenomena were not. Mr. Nohl points out that moist pestilential fogs were “a feature which preceded the epidemic throughout its whole course’s A great many physicians of the time took it for granted that the strange mists caused the Plague. This connection was established at the very beginning of the Black Death, as Mr. Nohl tells us:

The origin of the plague lay in China, there it is said to have commenced to rage already in the year 1333, after a terrible mist emitting a fearful stench and infecting the air.

Another account stresses that the Plague did not spread from person to person, but was contracted by breathing the deadly stinking air:

During the whole of the year 1382 there was no wind, consequence of which the air grew putrid, so that an epidemic broke out, and the plague did not pass from one man to another, but everyone who was killed by it got it straight from the air.

Reports of deadly “mists” and “pestilential fogs.’ came from all Plague-infested parts of the world:

A Prague chronicle describes the epidemic in China, India and Persia; and the Florentine historian Matteo Villani, who took up the work of his brother Giovanni after he had died of the plague in Florence, relays the account of earthquakes and pestilential fogs from a traveler in Asia;. . .”

The same historian continues:

A similar incident of earthquake and pestilential fog was reported from Cyprus, and it was believed that the wind had been so poisonous that men were struck down and died from it .2

He adds:

German accounts speak of a heavy vile-smelling mist which advanced from the East and spread itself over Italy.

That author states that in other countries:

. . . people were convinced that they could contract the disease from the stench, or even, as is sometimes described, actually see the plague coming through the streets as a pale fog.’4

He summarizes, rather dramatically:

The earth itself seemed in a state of convulsion, shuddering and spitting, putting forth heavy poisonous winds that destroyed animals and plants and called swarms of insects to life to complete the destruction.

Similar happenings are echoed by other writers. A journal from 1680 reported this odd incident:

That between Eisenberg and Domberg thirty funeral biers 1casket stands] all covered with black cloth were seen in broad daylight, among them on a bier a black man was standing with a white cross. When these had disappeared a great heat set in so that the people in this place could hardly stand it. But when the sun had set they perceived so sweet a perfume as if they were in a garden of roses. By this time they were all plunged in perturbation. Whereupon the epidemic set in in Thuringia in many places.

Further south, in Vienna:

. . . evil smelling mists are blamed, as indicative of the plague. and of these, indeed, several were observed last autumn.’ 7

Direct from the plague-ravaged town of Eisleben, we get this amusing and perhaps exaggerated newspaper account published on September 1, 1682:

In the cemetery of Eisleben on the 6th inst. [?] at night the following incident was noticed: When during the night the gravediggers were hard at work digging trenches, for on many days between eighty and ninety have died, they suddenly observed that the cemetery church, more especially the pulpit, was lighted up by bright sunshine. But on their going up to it so deep a darkness and black, thick fog came over the graveyard that they could hardly see one another, and which they took to be an evil omen. Thus day and night gruesome evil spirits are seen frightening the people goblins grinning at them and pelting them, but also many white ghosts and specters.

The same newspaper story later adds:

When Magister Hardte expired in his agony a blue smoke was seen to rise from his throat, and this in the presence of the dean; the same has been observed in the case of others expiring. In the same manner blue smoke has been observed to rise from the gables of houses at Eisleben all the inhabitants of which have died. In the church of St. Peter blue smoke has been observed high up near the ceiling; on this account the church is shunned,, particularly as the parish has been exterminated.

The “mists” or Plague poisons were thick enough to mix with normal air moisture and become part of the morning dew. People were warned to take the following precautions:

If newly baked bread is placed for the night at the end of a pole and in the morning is found to be mildewed and internally grown green, yellow and uneatable, and when thrown to fowls and dogs causes them to die from eating it, in a similar manner if fowls drink the morning dew and die in consequence, then the plague poison is near at hand.

As noted earlier, lethal “mists” were directly associated with bright moving lights in the sky. Other sources for the stenches were also reported. For example, Forestus Alemarianos wrote of a monstrous “whale” he had encountered which was:

28 ells [105 feet] in length and 14 ells [33 feet] broad which, coming from the western sea, was thrown upon the shore of Egemont by great waves and was unable to reach the open again; it produced so great a foulness and malignity of the air that very soon a great epidemic broke out in Egemont and neighborhoods.

It is a shame that Mr. Alcmarianos did not provide a more detailed description of the deadly whale because it may have been a craft similar to modem UFOs which have been observed entering and leaving bodies of water. On the other hand, Mr. Alcmarianos’ whale may have been just that: a dead rotting whale which happened to wash up on shore just before a nearby outbreak of the Plague.

It is significant that foul mists and bad air were blamed for many other epidemics in history. During a plague in ancient Rome, the famous physician Hippocrates (ca. 460337 B.C.) stated that the disease was caused by body disturbances brought on by changes in the atmosphere. To remedy this, Hippocrates had people build large public bonfires. He believed that large fires would set the air aright. Hippocrates’ advice was followed centuries later by physicians during the medieval Plague. Modem doctors take a dim view of Hippocrates’ advice on this matter, however, in the belief that Hippocrates was ignorant about the true causes of plague. In reality, huge outdoor bonfires were the only conceivable defense against the Plague if it was indeed caused by gem -saturated aerosols. Vaccines to combat the | Plague had not been invented and so the people’s only hope I was to bum away the deadly “mists” with fire. Hippocrates and those who followed his advice may have actually saved some lives.

Significantly, bubonic and pneumonic plagues were not the only infectious diseases in history to be spread on strange lethal fogs. The deadly intestinal disease, cholera, was another:

When cholera broke out on board Her Majesty’s ship Britannia in the Black Sea in 1854, several officers and men asserted positively that, immediately prior to the outbreak, a curious dark mist swept up from the sea and passed over the ship. The mist had barely cleared the vessel when the first case of disease was announced.

Blue mists were also reported in connection with the cholera outbreaks of 1832 and 1848-1849 in England.

As mentioned earlier, plagues had a very strong religious significance. In the Bible, plagues were said to be Jehovah’s method of punishing people for evil. “Omens” preceding outbreaks of the Black Death resembled many of the “omens” reported in the Bible:

Men confronted with the terror of the Black Death were impressed by the chain of events leading up to the final plague, and accounts of the coming of the 14th-century pestilence selected from among all the ominous events that must have occurred in the years preceding the outbreak of 1348 those which closely resemble the ten plagues of Pharoah: disruptions in the atmosphere, storms, unusual invasions of insects, celestial phenomena.

In addition, the Bubonic form of plague was very similar, if not identical, to some of the punishments inflicted by “God” in the Old Testament:

But the hand of the Lord was heavy upon the people of Ashdod (a Philistine city), and he destroyed them, and killed them with emerods {painful swellings)

I SAMUEL 5:6

. . . the hand of the Lord was against the city (Gath, another Philistine city) with a very great destruction:

and he killed the men of the city, both young and old, and they had emerods in their secret parts.

I SAMUEL 5:9

. . . there was a deadly destruction throughout all the city; the hand of God was very heavy there.

And the men that survived were afflicted with the emerods: and the crying of the city went up to heaven.

I SAMUEL 5:11-12

The religious aspect of the medieval Black Death was enhanced by reports of thundering sounds in connection with outbreaks of the Plague. The sounds were similar to those described in the Bible as accompanying the appearance of Jehovah. Interestingly, they are also sounds common to some UFO sightings:

During the plague of 1565 i Italy rumblings of thunder were heard day and night, as in a war, together with the turmoil and noise as of a mighty army. In Gem any in many places a noise was heard as if a hearse were passing through the streets of its own accord.

Similar noises accompanied strange aerial phenomena in remarkable Plague-related sightings from England. The object described in the quote below remained visible for over a week and does appear to be a true comet or planet (such as Venus); however, some of the other objects cam only be labeled “unidentified.” Historian Walter George Bell, drawing on writings from the period, summarized:

Late into dark December nights of the year 1664 London citizens sat up to watch a new blazing star, with mighty talk” thereupon. King Charles 11 and his Queen gazed out of the windows at Whitehall. About east it rose, reaching no great altitude, and sank below the south-west horizon between two and three o’clock In a week or two it was gone, then letters came from Vienua notifying the like sight of a brilliant comet. and m the ayr [air] the appearance of a Coffin, which causes great anxiety of thought amongst the people.” Erfun saw with it other terrible apparitions, and listeners detected noises in the air, as of fires, and sounds of cannon and musket-shot. The report ran that one night m the February following hundreds of persons had seen flames of fire for an hour together, which seemed to be thrown from Whitehall to St. James and then back again to Whitehall, where after they disappeared.

In March there came into the heavens a yet brighter comet visible two hours after midnight, and so continuing till daylight. With such ominous portents the Great Plague in London was ushered in.

Other less frequent “omens” were also reported in connection with the Black Death. Some of those phenomena were obvious fictions. Significantly, the fictions were not widespread and were rarely reported outside of the communities in which they originated.

The preceding quotes provide evidence that UFOs (i.e. the Custodial society) have bombarded the human race with deadly diseases. This evidence is particularly intriguing when we consider claims made by a number of modem UFO contactees who say that they are relaying messages to mankind from the UFO society. Some of them claim that UFOs are here to help mankind and that UFOs will eradicate disease on Earth. The UFO civilization reportedly has no disease. If the Custodial civilization is indeed so healthy, perhaps it is only because it is not bombarding itself with germ weapons. If UFOs truly intended to bring health to the human race, maybe all they needed to do was to stop spraying infectious biological agents into the air.

The Black Death not only killed a great many people. it also caused deep psychological and social wounds. People in the past were convinced that the epidemics were God’s punishment for sin, and this caused deep introversion. It was natural for people to accuse themselves and their neighbors of wickedness and to wonder what they had done to “deserve” their punishment. It rarely occurred to the victims that plagues, even if deliberately inflicted, had nothing to do with trying to make human beings more virtuous. After all, the social and psychological effects of the Plague produced the opposite result. The misery and despair generated by the massive death tolls brought about widespread ethical decay. In a dying environment. many people will no longer care about whether their actions are right or wrong; they are going to die anyway. In the fearful climate of the medieval Plague, spiritual values noticeably declined and mental aberration sharply increased. The same results are observed during war. Although the Bible and other religious works may preach that plagues and wars are created by “God” to ultimately make the human race more virtuous and spiritually advanced, the effect is always the opposite.

The cataclysmic nature of the Black Death overshadowed another disastrous occurrence of the Plague years: a renewed attempt by Christians to exterminate the Jews. False accusations circulated that Jews were causing the Plague by poisoning wells. These rumors stirred up a fearsome hatred of the Jews inside those Christian communities being devastated by the epidemic. Many Christians participated in the genocides, which may have claimed as many lives, if not more, than the slaughter of Jews by the Nazis in the 20th century. According to Collier’s Encyclopedia:

That country [Germany] figured . . . as the site of brutal massacres on the widest possible scale, which periodically swept the country from end to end. These culminated at the time of the terrible plague of 13481349, known as the Black Death. Perhaps because their medical knowledge and hygienic way of life rendered them somewhat less susceptible than others, the Jews were preposterously accused of having deliberately propagated the plague, and hundreds of Jewish communities, large and small were blotted out of existence or reduced to insignificance. After this, only a broken remnant remained in the country, mainly in the petty lordships which protected and even encouraged them for the sake of financial advantages which they brought. Only a few large German Jewish communities, such as Frankfurt-am-Main or Worms, managed to maintain an unbroken existence from Medieval times onward.

The genocides were often instigated by German trade guilds, which excluded Jews from membership. Many of those guilds were direct offshoots of the ancient Brotherhood guilds. In fact, membership in Brotherhood organizations

and European trade guilds still overlapped heavily in the 14th century with leadership in the guilds often being held by men who were members of other Brotherhood organizations. Here again was an instance in which the corrupted Brotherhood network was a significant contributor, if not the primary source, of a major historical genocide.

Germany was not the only nation to host Jewish slaughters. The same occurred in Spain. In 1391, a massacre of Jews was perpetrated throughout much of the Spanish peninsula.

Although frightened Christians supplied the manpower for these terrible genocides, their activities were not always endorsed by the Papacy. To the credit of Clement Vl, who served as Pope from 1342 until 1352, he tried almost immediately to protect the Jews from massacre. Clement Vl issued two Papal bulls declaring the Jews to be innocent of the charges against them. The bulls called upon all Christians to cease their persecutions. Clement Vl did not fully succeed, however, because by that time many of the secretive trade guilds had become a united faction engaged in and-Papal activity. Pope Clement also did not dismantle the inquisition, and the inquisition did much to create the generally oppressive social climate in which such massacres could occur.

The combination of Plague, inquisition, and genocide provided all of the elements needed to fulfill apocalyptic prophecy. The Catholic Church was on the brink of collapse due to the many clergymen lost to the Plague and from the loss of popular faith in the Church caused by the Church’s inability to bring an end to “God’s Disease. A great many people were proclaiming that the “End Days” were at hand. True to prophecy, out of this tumult emerged new messengers from God” with promises of an imminent utopia. The teachings and proclamations of those new messiahs had an electrifying effect on the ravaged Europeans and brought about an event of major importance: the Protestant Reformation.

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