Does this Enigmatic French Counter Provide Evidence for Historic UFO Sightings?
A curious circular object shown on a French counter that was minted between 1656 - 1680 has sparked the interest of some UFO enthusiasts, who claim that the image is undoubtable proof of UFO sightings from the time.
For example, Scott C. Waring, the owner of UFO Sightings Daily writes on his website that the counter “is absolute proof that in the 1600s the French witnessed enough UFO sightings to decide to put some of what they saw on coins.”
The counter in question is a French jeton, also known as a Reckoning Counter, which York Coins explains was “widely used in the medieval world as an aid in performing calculations by merchants and royal officials. The counters were placed upon a checkered board or reckoning table to represent amounts or tallies in complex calculations. The word jeton comes from the French verb jeter, to cast.”
Woodcut of people at a calculation table (probably from Strasbourg), where jetons would have been used. (Public Domain)
Waring describes the appearance of the counter on his website, saying:
It is about the size of a U.S. quarter-dollar and similar to thousands of other jetons with different religious and educational designs that were produced and used in Europe during the 16th and 17th centuries. It appears to commemorate a UFO sighting of a wheel like object. Some researchers feel it represents the Biblical Ezekiel's wheel. The Latin inscription 'OPPORTUNUS ADEST' translates as 'It is here at an opportune time.
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The two sides of the jeton, one with the circular image in the sky and the other with a plant and rain. (Scott C. Waring)
Ezekiel’s wheel is one of the most cited examples of UFO evidence in the Bible. One passage describes the appearance of the “wheels”, saying that “They sparkled like chrysolite, and all four looked alike. Each appeared to be made like a wheel intersecting a wheel." (Ezekiel 1:16)
The Chicago Coin Club emphasizes that the images shown on the counters were chosen with a specific reasoning behind them and were once important tools for propaganda. They write:
According to medieval taste, they were always decorated. These decorations always had a purpose, sometimes religious, but usually related to the user or the principal. In the 16th century, jetons were mostly used to propagate political messages and to glorify the deeds of the ruler. There was such a great need to make propaganda through jetons that they continued to be struck long after jetons ceased to be used as counters. In France and in the Netherlands this new image of the jeton began about the end of the 16th century.
A 1588 jeton from Dordrecht, Netherlands, with a representation of the destruction of the Armada. (CC BY SA 3.0)
The Daily Mail reports that the curious counter “has spurred theories dating back decades.” Some of the other explanations for the image have been a drifting mushroom or flower, or a shield.
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According to The Daily Mail, a comparable token from 1648 also depicts a circular object similar to the one Waring shows on his website. This too has been argued by some people to represent a UFO sighting. However, others say that the image is a shield with arrows pointing towards it.
A counter from 1648 depicts a similar circular object. (Daily Mail)
Experts say that the images on jetons were chosen with a purpose, so what is the image on the French counter? Is it a UFO, a shield, a flower, or a symbolic representation of something else?