An Italian painter named Ventura Salimbeni is responsible for one of the mostmysterious altar paintingsin history. “Disputa of the Eucharist,” a 16th-century painting also known as “The Glorification of the Eucharist” (Eucharist is an alternate term for the Holy Communion), is a three-part work. The bottom two parts are relatively normal: They depict a number of religious authorities and an altar. However, the top part shows the Holy Trinity (Father, Son, and a dove depicting the Holy Ghost) looking upon them . . . and holding what seems to be a space satellite. The object is large and spherical, with a metallic finish, telescopic antennas, and strange lights. In fact, it heavily resembles an old Sputnik satellite.
Although UFO enthusiasts and ancient astronaut theorists have often claimed the Disputa as proof of extraterrestrial life (or perhaps time travel), experts have been quick to debunk such notions. According to them, the orb is aSphaera Mundi, a globe-like representation of the universe that used to be common in religious art. The strange lights on the “satellite” are merely the sun and the moon, and its antennas are actually scepter wands that act as symbols of authority for the Father and the Son.