16th Century Drawing of a Cat Wearing a Jetpack Baffles Historians

Last April Vice wrote an article about one of the BEST conspiracies I have heard, that believes cats may be aliens sent from outer space to spy on you.

Stating (see article for full descriptions):

1. There is no documentation before ancient Egypt that mentions the existence of cats. And in ancient Egypt, they were worshipped as gifts from the gods.

2. Science is baffled by a cat’s purr, and cannot determine how the sound is produced. (Feedback, much?)

3. If you hold a cat’s ears back and describe what you see, it is a perfect match to the classic “grey alien,” with its almond-shaped eyes, small mouth, and small nose.

4. A cat can see exponentially better than you. Making it appear that it must be more advanced evolutionarily speaking. How?

5. Ever watch a cat wake from a deep sleep and run out of the room in an instant? Transmissions from the mothership coming in, and they must be alone.

6. All things that come out of cats are totally unnatural. (Not of this earth.)

7. Cats survive situations that any earthbound animal would surely perish in. How can a cat fall out of a four-story building backwards, and land on its feet? (Anti-gravity properties.)

8. If you die, your cats will eat you. Not really a link between cats and Aliens, but still pretty creepy.

So now, after taking all of that into consideration, a recent discovery of really interesting drawings from the 16th century, only adds to the whole cat/alien/spy conspiracy theory. While cats may not be aliens, they were apparently thought to be used as a viable option for spies/weapons of mass destruction of sorts according to these illustrations.

These bizarre cat-bomb drawings from a circa-1530 manual on artillery and siege warfare show jetpacks strapped to the backs of cats and doves (not believed to be aliens, but still strange), with German text advising military commanders to use them as “drones” of sorts to “set fire to a castle or city which you can’t get at otherwise.”

After being digitalized by the University of Pennsylvania, these extremely odd illustrations caught the attention of an Australian book blog and then found their way to researcher/historian/digital humanities expert at Penn library, Mitch Fraas, who set out to unravel the mystery.

Fraas stated: “I really didn’t know what to make of it. It clearly looks like there’s some sort of jet of fire coming out of a device strapped to these animals.”

According to Death and Taxes:

It turns out the artist in question was indeed proposing jetpacks as a weaponized defense strategy. But instead of a 16th century version of Iron Man, he was proposing turning the cats themselves into weapons.

The idea was set forth by artillery man Franz Helm, who had apparently seen action in Turkey and witnessed first-hand the power of gunpowder. His idea went like this: Rather than try to lay siege to a castle or otherwise protected town, you could simply kidnap a cat, attach a jetpack to its back, set it on fire nearby and release the cat, which would run back home in its panic wearing the jetpack and set the whole town on fire.

“Sort of a harebrained scheme,” says Frass, with the benefit of 500 years of hindsight. “It seems like a really terrible idea, and very unlikely the animals would run back to where they came from. More likely they’d set your own camp on fire.”

Or, maybe they would just act as spies, and the “bomb” wasn’t really a “bomb” but merely a jet pack to be utilized as a surveillance drone…since you know, cats might be alien/spies from outer space that know a thing or two about a thing or two. Or, maybe this illustrator was just a demented visionary who thought cats would be the most viable option for stealth bombing a village? Who knows? Regardless it’s pretty fascinating, and pretty damn weird any way you look at it.


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  • anoncat
    March 13, 2014 at 7:38 pm

    aliens bro