In the following passage, quoted from Gerolamo Cardano, is alleged to be transcribed from his father’s own notes. Unfortunately, Bergier’s translation (an English translation of Bergier’s French translation of the Latin original) is flawed, oddly truncated, and missing key words. (Par for the course with Bergier.) I am using the English translation given in the 1913 edition of Abbé N. de Montfaucon de Villars’ 1613 Rosicrucian novel The Comte De Gabalis (commentary XV) to explicate the French author’s reference to Cardano.
August 13, 1491. When I had completed the customary rites, at about the twentieth hour of the day, seven men duly appeared to me clothed in silken garments, resembling Greek togas, and wearing, as it were, shining shoes. The undergarments beneath their glistening and ruddy breastplates seemed to be wrought of crimson [the Latin says “purple”] and were of extraordinary glory and beauty. Nevertheless all were not dressed in this fashion, but only two who seemed to be of nobler rank than the others. The taller of them who was of ruddy complexion, was attended by two companions, and the second, who was fairer and of shorter stature, by three. Thus in all there were seven. He left no record as to whether their heads were covered. They were about forty years of age, but they did not appear to be above thirty. When asked who they were, they said that they were men composed, as it were, of air, and subject to birth and death. It was true that their lives were much longer than ours, and might even reach to three hundred years duration. […] The shorter of the two leaders had three hundred disciples in a public academy, and the other, two hundred. Indeed both were in the habit of lecturing publicly. (Cardano, De Subtilitate, book 19)
The aliens sure dress funny, though. Bergier suggests that their clothes are the illuminated garments of beings of light, a type of extraterrestrial: “In my opinion, they were investigators who were sent by beings capable of lighting and extinguishing stars and were perhaps created by these beings.” They always, he said, wore “luminous” garments that glowed in the dark.
I don’t know about you, but I don’t see any “luminous” garments in Cardano’s description. I see that the shoes were shining, and their armor glittered. This is a fairly standard description of royal clothing. More importantly, the “aliens” are dressed in a very specific way, instantly recognizable to any Renaissance scholar with a reasonably good Classical education. They are dressed in the garments of the Roman triumph.
Piecing together the details of the Roman triumph is an issue too complex to get into here, but from such writers as Appian, Plutarch, Dionysus of Halicarnassus, Livy, Seutonius, and others we know that the Roman triumphator wore a purple (which in Roman times was a shade of red) and gold robe called the toga picta, a crown of laurels, glittering red boots, and a face painted red to match that of Jupiter Capitolinus, the chief god (see H. S. Versnel, Triumphus, ch. 2). After the time of Caligula, the emperor would sometimes wear a golden breastplate. Caligula himself wore that of Alexander the Great in his mock triumph. Cardano’s description of the beings is, in its essentials, dependent on the Classical descriptions of Julius Caesar’s four triumphs of 49 BCE and that of Scipio. The “Greek toga” corresponds to the tunica palmata, a purple tunic embroidered with palms, over which the toga picta, with its gold embroidery, was draped. Cardano has perhaps confused the gold-and-purple toga picta for “glistening and ruddy breastplates”—since both answer to the same color scheme. (Classical descriptions of this toga as being completely covered in stars made of solid gold may also have led to the misidentification of it as a metal covering.)
At the same time Cardano allegedly wrote his description (recorded by his son decades later), Andrea Mantegna painted The Triumphs of Caesar (1485-1492) based on the descriptions of Plutarch, Appian, and Seutonius. (Interestingly, in his painting, Caesar’s gold toga picta resembles armor more than drapery.) Additionally, in 1443 Alfonso I of Aragon celebrated a triumph in Naples in the costume of a Roman triumphator, as did Borso d’Este of Mantua in 1452 and 1471. Cesare Borgia put on a pageant of Caesar’s triumph in 1500.
So it’s not like this was a secret. Anyone alive in those years would have recognized the outfit. Thus, we don’t need to appeal to aliens to explain it.