Apocalyptic writing incorporates symbolic language. Ezekiel saw the same wheel that Creedence Clearwater Revival did, as well as Peter, Paul and Mary and Elton John.
The Book of Daniel is laden with all sorts of off-the-wall imagery, even more than Ezekiel. A few of the minor prophets also threw the stuff in.
At the risk of calling up the ghost of ARG, allow me to note some of the material from the Revelation to St. John (last book of the Bible):
[ul][li]…the Beast with seven heads and ten horns……the star Wormwood, which [is to] fall into the sea, and a third of the waters of the sea [will be] changed to wormwood……the new Jerusalem, descending from the heavens…[/ul][/li]
All these were symbols to represent things the writer wished to convey to his readers but which might be less than desirable to spell out in plain language, given the power structure at the time. The image of a man carrying a saxophone and making a come-hither gesture with a cigar would be nearly universally understood in America today, though twenty years ago it would not have been and it is probably unlikely to make sense without someone spelling it out seventy years from now. Unfortunately we are unclear on some of the coding of the Biblical symbols today. (This gives the adventist branch of the religious right a lot of interpretive license. While I was growing up, the Beast was assumed to be the Common Market among right-wing loonies.)
There was a von Daniken style book out about twenty years ago called The Spaceships of Ezekiel that was, shall we say, interesting reading.
The wheels-within-wheels imagery (a) corresponds reasonably well to the covered-with-small-spinning-wings imagery of the cherubim, and (b) matches reasonably well the effects of some forms of schizophrenia. (Consider VanGogh’s “Starry Night.”) There is some evidence that many prophets, including particularly Ezekiel, were in an “altered state of consciousness” when they had their visions and heard the revelations from which they proclaimed their prophesies.
So M#7, I am more or less with Tom on this, and I think you would concur. While it is quite conceivable that Ezekiel could have seen a flying saucer, the probability is that this was symbolic language. Certainly nobody thinks that Ezekiel foresaw the Leakeys when he wrote the Valley of Dry Bones passage (ch. 37).