Barry H. Downing's The Bible and Flying Saucers (1968)
The Bible, both Old and New Testaments, is filled with accounts of encounters with divine beings. Abraham and the 'smoking firepot' and a flaming torch that appeared in the sky as a sign of acceptance of his sacrifice (Genesis 15:17), the 'pillar of cloud'by day and the 'pillar of fire' by night that led Moses and the Israelites (Exodus 13:22), God landing on Mount Sinai in smoke, with a sound of a trumpet before them (Exodus19:18-19), Elijah being 'carried up to heaven' in a 'chariot of fire' which created a whirlwind (II Kings 2:11), and of course, Ezekiel's famous close encounter. (Ezekiel 1:1-28).The New Testament likewise contains many familiar-sounding sightings. Foremost is famous Star of Bethlehem which Matthew records that the Wise Men - probably Zoroastrian astronomer-priests - followed till it came to rest over the place where the child was (Matt. 2:9) - most unusual behavior for a supernova, comet, or planetary conjunction! The birth itself had been immediately announced by the appearance of a messenger shining with the glory of the Lord to shepherds in the fields at night. (Luke 2:9) Downing, himself a minister, argues that many of the terms describing such glorious and shining lights could be descriptions of UFOs. Even the shape believed to be the Holy Spirit that was seen to descend like a dove at Christ's baptism and the bright cloud at the Transfiguration, (Matt. 17:1-8) might have been extraterrestrial craft. The men in shining clothes, such as those the disciples believed were Moses and Elijah at the Transfiguration, would then have been their occupants. After the Crucifixion, yet another of these fellows came out of the sky, rolled the stone away from the tomb and announced the Resurrection. And of course, at the end of Jesus mission on Earth, he rose into the air and a cloud took him out of their sight while two of those mysterious Men in White consoled the disciples (Acts 1:6-11).
Lenticular Clouds - Painting done in 1420
This fresco is located in the San Francesco Church in Arezzo, Italy.
Numbers 13:33 And there we saw the giants, the sons of Anak, which come of the giants: and we were in our own sight as grasshoppers, and so we were in their sight.
Deuteronomy 2:11 Which also were accounted giants, as the Anakims; but the Moabites call them Emims.
Deuteronomy 2:20-21 That also was accounted a land of giants: giants dwelt therein in old time; and the Ammonites call them Zamzummims; A people great, and many, and tall, as the Anakims; but the LORD destroyed them before them; and they succeeded them, and dwelt in their stead:
Deuteronomy 3:11-13 For only Og king of Bashan remained of the remnant of giants; behold, his bedstead was a bedstead of iron; is it not in Rabbath of the children of Ammon? Nine cubits was the length thereof, and four cubits the breadth of it, after the cubit of a man. And this land, which we possessed at that time, from Aroer, which is by the river Arnon, and half mount Gilead, and the cities thereof, gave I unto the Reubenites and to the Gadites. And the rest of Gilead, and all Bashan, being the kingdom of Og, gave I unto the half tribe of Manasseh; all the region of Argob, with all Bashan, which was called the land of giants.
Deuteronomy 9:2 A people great and tall, the children of the Anakims, whom thou knowest, and of whom thou hast heard say, Who can stand before the children of Anak!
Joshua 12:4 And the coast of Og king of Bashan, which was of the remnant of the giants, that dwelt at Ashtaroth and at Edrei,
Joshua 13:12 All the kingdom of Og in Bashan, which reigned in Ashtaroth and in Edrei, who remained of the remnant of the giants: for these did Moses smite, and cast them out.
Joshua 15:8 And the border went up by the valley of the son of Hinnom unto the south side of the Jebusite; the same is Jerusalem: and the border went up to the top of the mountain that lieth before the valley of Hinnom westward, which is at the end of the valley of the giants northward:
Joshua 17:15 And Joshua answered them, If thou be a great people, then get thee up to the wood country, and cut down for thyself there in the land of the Perizzites and of the giants, if mount Ephraim be too narrow for thee.
Joshua 18:16-17 And the border came down to the end of the mountain that lieth before the valley of the son of Hinnom, and which is in the valley of the giants on the north, and descended to the valley of Hinnom, to the side of Jebusi on the south, and descended to Enrogel, And was drawn from the north, and went forth to Enshemesh, and went forth toward Geliloth, which is over against the going up of Adummim, and descended to the stone of Bohan the son of Reuben,
2 Samual 21:20 And there was yet a battle in Gath, where was a man of great stature, that had on every hand six fingers, and on every foot six toes, four and twenty in number; and he also was born to the giant.
1 Chronicles 20:6 And yet again there was war at Gath, where was a man of great stature, whose fingers and toes were four and twenty, six on each hand, and six on each foot: and he also was the son of the giant.
The root from which ‘el was derived may have come from 'wl, "to be strong"; from an Arabic root 'ul, "to be infront of" as a leader from a Hebrew root ‘lh to which both ‘el and ‘elohim belonged, with the meaning "strong"; from the preposition el, "to be infront of"; and using the same prepositions, as putting forth the idea of God as the goal for which all men seek.
A truly satisfactory theory is impossible, because ‘el and the other terms for God, 'elohim and 'eloha, are all prehistoric in origin.) make their return in Genesis 6:2, when the "sons of God" have intercourse with the "daughters of men," ..."and they took them wives of all which they chose."
The results of this event beget Lamech (Heb. lemekh, meaning undetermined), father of Noah, based his faith on the promised deliverance from the Adamic curse of Gen. 3:14-19, he foresees, even if faintly, the coming of One of his seed (cf. 1 Chron. 1:3; Luke 3:36) who will remove that curse (cf. Rom. 8:18-25). Jared was Enochs' father, who through tradition dictated to his son about 5800 B.C.
"The Lamentations of Jared" how Gods came to the earth and led astray his own tribe of Adam and those tribes of Cain also.
From Adam to Noah there were seven major Patriarchs born, Noah being the eighth person as shown in 2 Peter 2:5. Note that Cain and Abel are not counted for a total of ten, but Seth was the first.
Uta-Napishtim (Babylonian Noah) was the tenth King of Babylon before the Flood. The Sumerian King List mentions five cities existing before the Flood; Eridu, Bad-tinia, Larak, Sippar, and Shuruppak.
- The first king was Alorus, who ruled for 120 sari, or 432,000 years before the Flood (note 162,000 years).
- Abulim reigned for 28,800 years.
- Abolga reigned 36,000 years.
- Two more kings reigned for 64,800 years. These represented the five cities. While in Eridu Kings from Heaven reigned for 64,800 years before the Flood.
- If eight kings ruled for 241,200 years then the last five kings totaled 140,400 years.A Chaldean priest, Berossos, writing in Greek ca. 289 B.C., reported that according to Mesopotamian belief 432,000 years elapsed between the crowning of the first earthly king and the coming of the deluge.
- The early Sumerian king list names eight kings with a total of 241,200 years from the time when "the kingship was lowered from heaven" to the time when "the Flood swept" over the land once more "the kingship was lowered from heaven" (Thorkild Jacobsen, The Sumerian King List, 1939, pp. 71, 77).
- A Biblical analysis of the Masoretic text of the ages of the Patriarchs when their sons were born shows only 1,656 years passed from the Creation to Adam's Fall until the Deluge and Shem's fatherhood.
- Genesis 6:4 "There were giants in the earth in those days..., when the sons of God came in unto the daughters of men, and they bare children to them, the same became mighty men (Nephilim) which were of old, men of renown
- "Sons of God appears to refer to angels (Job 1:6, 2:1 "a day when they came before the Lord, and Satan was among them"):
- Job 38:7 "When the morning stars sang together, and they all shouted for joy";
- Psalms 89:6 "S who among them can be likened unto the Lord?"). Genesis 6:1-2 may likewise involve angels (in this case they are fallen ones) or they may be demon-possessed individuals, but others view these "sons of God" as kings/rulers/princes.Author W. Raymond Drake states that in the Kabalistic Book of Enoch the Giants engendered by the Fallen Angels and daughters of men turned against mankind before the Flood.
The early Sumerian texts called them Anunaki, "those who came from heaven to earth." The Anakim as in Genesis 6:4 they are the sons of the sons of God, they are called the Nephilim (uncertain etymology) or giants (Heb. rapha, raphah, Heb. gibbor, mighty, Rephaim of Canaan ancestor of Og, king of Bashan, Emims of the Moabites, Zamzummims of Ammonites, Heb. murmurers, Zuzites (Zuzim) in Gen. 14:5) who were of old, men of renown.
This cross breeding may be the reason why the ancestors believe that sexual relations could affect one's health. One might even suspect that the Anakim were possibly the Greek Gods of mythology "fallen angels" the original Hebrew "B1nai Elohim" some who did not survive the Flood.
Genesis and the Talmud both suggest that the Giants, who resented God for destroying their ancestors, meddled in the affairs of mankind.
Eventually Nimrod seen in Genesis 10:8-10 "And Cush begat Nimrod: he began to be a mighty one (first king) in the earth. He was a mighty hunter before the LORD: wherefore it is said, Even as Nimrod the mighty hunter before the LORD." Nimrod (Heb. nimrodh, assumed "rebel"), a descendent of Ham, was responsible for building the city of Babel (Babylon).
This individual was the beginning of the kingdom in Babylonia, and he became the founder of Nineveh and other cities in Assyria. He became distinguished as a hunter, ruler, and builder. He lived for an undetermined amount of centuries after the Flood, and was the grandson of Ham. He was a bold man, and of great strength of hand.
He persuaded men not to ascribe to God, in order to bring them into a constant dependence upon his own power. He swore to build a tower too high for the waters to be able to reach! Thus avenging himself on God for destroying their forefathers!
Many legends have grown up around the name of Nimrod, some claiming that he was identical with "Ninus," an early Babylonian king or god (king of Assyria, founder of Nineveh, known in history as Shamshi-Adad V of 811 B.C.). Again, some have associated Nimrod with the building of the Tower of Babel (Gen. 11:1-9). Others have identified him with the ancient king of Babylonia, Gilgamesh (Akkadian Epic of Gilgamesh, 5th king of the 1st Dynasty of Erech after the Flood), but there is no proof that the two were identical. The Talmud stresses that while Esau spent his days hunting and that an arrow from his bow killed the giant Nimrod (legends of "Ninus" or "Gilgamesh"). Did Nimrod finally die after all this time from Genesis 10 through 26?
Also attributed to him and his people were the building of Erech, Accad, and Calneh, in the land of Shinar. Asshur, son of Nimrod, built Nineveh, Rehaboth, Calah and Resen.
Around 3200 B.C. Menes was consolidating Upper and Lower Egypt, Sumer was prospering, and then the Semitic peoples appeared on the scene with Sargon (2550-2400 B.C.) conquering Erech (Uruk), Ur, E-Ninmar, Lagash, to the mountains of Elam, Crete and uniting the area. Sargon, king of Agade, vice regent of the goddess Ishtar, king of Kish, pashishu (a class of priest who prepared and applied ointments) of the god Anu, King of the Land, great ishakku (chief priest) of the god Enlil.
Alexander the Great had two UFO encounters that were recorded. During his invasion of Asia in 329, while crossing a river, Alexander and his men saw what was described as gleaming, silver shields in the sky. The objects repeatedly swooped down at the soldiers, scattering men and horses and creating quite a panic.
Seven years later, while attacking a Venetian city in the eastern Mediterranean, observers on both sides of the conflict reported another incredible event. Objects appeared in the sky. One of the objects suddenly shot a beam of light at the city wall, crumbling it to dust. This allowed Alexander's troops to easily take the city.
The following is a report taken from the North American Review, 3:320-322, 1816 - a report which the author E. Acharius was also taking to the Royal Academy. The event took place over the village Biskophsberga.
The author goes on to state that some of the balls came to Earth near one observer. As it neared the ground it lost its black color and became hard to see until they reached the ground and again became more visible, but this time as a ball of changing colors.
On the 16th of last May (1816), being a very warm day, and during a gale of wind from south-west, a cloudless sky, at about 4 O'clock, p.m., the sun became dim, and lost his brightness to that degree, that he could be looked at without inconvenience to the naked eye, (the sun) being of a dark red, or almost bright color, without brilliancy.At the same time there appeared at the western horizon, from where the wind blew, to arise gradually, and in quick succession, a great number of balls, or spherical bodies, to the naked eye of the size of the crown of a hat, and of a dark brown color. The nearer these bodies, which occupied a considerable though irregular breadth of the visible heaven, approached towards the sun, the darker they appeared, and in the vicinity of the sun, became entirely black. At this elevation their course (speed) seemed to lessen, and a great many of them remained, as it were, stationary; but they soon resumed their former, and accelerated motion, and passed in the same direction with great velocity and almost horizontally. During this course some disappeared, others fell down, but the most part of them continued their progress almost in a straight line, till they were lost sight of at the eastern horizon. The phenomenon lasted uninterruptedly, upwards of two hours, during which time millions of similar bodies continually rose in the west, one after another irregularly, and continued their career exactly in the same manner (mentioned above). No report, noise, nor any whistling or buzzing in the air was perceived. As these bodies slackened their course on passing by the sun, several were linked together, three, six, or eight of them in a line, joined like chain-shot by a thin and straight bar; but on continuing again amore rapid course (speed), they separated, and each having a tail after it, apparently of three or four fathoms length, wider at its base where it adhered to the ball, and gradually decreasing, till it terminated in a fine point (tapered tails). During the course, these tails which had the same black color as the balls, disappeared by degrees.
The people compared them to soap bubbles. These then disappeared leaving a thin film: "....a scarcely perceptible film or pellicle, as thin as a cobwed, which (itself) was still changing colors, but soon dried up and vanished.
Since this event took hours it was witnessed by all the people of the village.
In Oeuvres vol. 11, page 644, a scientist, M. Arago, noted that a chemical analysis of the objects had showed them to be "70 percent red oxide of iron, and sulphur, and loss (of mass) by ignition (combustion) 5 percent."
Amazingly the pieces of metal showed signs of having been manufactured. The Orenburg "sky fall" attracted the attention of Prince Pavel Vasilyevich Dolgorukii, the "librarian" of the mystic Brothers of the Inner Order.
This was an offshoot of the Lodge Harmonia, founded by Nikolai Novikov in St. Petersburg in 1780. When Empress Catherine II suppressed the Masonic lodges of Russia in 1792 and jailed Novikov, Dolgorukii and two brothers, Yuri and Nikita Troubezkoi, formed the Brothers of the Inner Order.
They then set about collecting hundreds of books on alchemy, mysticism and the paranormal, including works by the most notorious occultists of the period. The collection had a first edition Originalschriften des Illuminatenordensekte by Adam Weishaupt and pamphlets by Jean-Baptiste Willermoz and the ayatollah Shaikh Ahmed Ahsai.
After Dolgorukii's death in 1838, the collection and perhaps a handful of those mysterious Orenburg artifacts--passed into the possession of his daughter, Mme. Nadyezhda de Fadeyev.
In 1846, about the time of the war between the USA and Mexico, Mme. de Fadeyev's 15-year-old niece, Elena Petrovna von Hahn, spent the summer reading all the mystical books in her deceased grandfather's library.
Thirty years later, as the author/occultist Helena Blavatsky, she hinted at the strange doings in Orenburg in her book, The Secret Doctrine...more than one Russian mystic travelled to Tibet via the Ural Mountains in search of knowledge and initiation in the unknown crypts of central Asia. And more than one returned years later with a rich store of such information as could never have been given him anywhere in Europe."
This trail, similar to the "Underground Railroad" for escaped black slaves in the early Nineteenth Century USA, led from St. Petersburg and Moscow straight through Orenburg. The Dolgorukii collection vanished sometime in the 1890s, after Mme. de Fadeyev's death.
Orenburg is located just south of the Ural Mountains 600 kilometers (360 miles) east of Moscow. (See The Complete Book of Charles Fort, Dover Publications Inc., New York, NY, 1974. The Masters Revealed by K. Paul Johnson, State University Press, Albany, NY, 1994, pages 19 to 22.)
At a quarter past nine O'clock on Sunday night the eighth day of May, in the present year (1837), my attention whilst regarding the heavens was forcibly attracted to the sudden appearance due east of a shining broad column of light.At first, as my window overlooks the bay of Toronto and the low island which separates it from the lake, I took this singular pillar of light for the reflection from some steamboat on the clouds, but having sought the open air on the gallery which commands a full view of the bay and of Ontario. I was convinced that the meteor was an effluence of the sky, as I now saw it extend upwards from the eastern water horizon line to the zenith, in a well defined, equal, broad column of white strong light, resembling in some degree that of the aurora, but of a steady brightness and unchanging body, whilst there were few or no clouds. Ursa Major, then near the zenith, was situated with regard to this column, at a quarter past nine as below, the column passing nearly vertically between (z) and (H) [the author refers to the Greek letters here]. There was no moon, as on that day it rose at 2h. 4m. consequently it was dark, and the sky was not very cloudy the meteor was seen to the greatest advantage as the night wore on. It passed very slowly and bodily to the westward, continuing to occupy the space from the horizon to the zenith, until the upper part first faded slowly and then the whole gradually disappeared, after it had reached nearly to due northeast.
Three years after the publication of Walt Whitmans Leaves of Grass, a mysterious miniature book appeared in the bookstalls of New York City. Just large enough to fit in the palm, and easily hidden in a gentleman's pocket or a ladys knitting bag, The Illustrated Silent Friend, by William Earl, M.D., of 12 White Street, offered an extraordinary variety of arcane information.As the title page of the paperback copy I own informs the public, the Silent Friend is A Complete Guide To Health, Marriage and Happiness, Embracing Subjects Never Before Scientifically Discussed - With Magnificent Illustrations In Anatomy Of The Lungs, Fistal Delivery, Monstrosities, Uterine Tumors, Generative Organs, Deformities, Diseases, & C. Also, Valuable and Practical Receipts In Medicine, The Arts, Etc. And in 382 pages printed in minute type, Dr. Earl delivers a breathtaking range of quaint and curious lure. Sandwiched in between advertisements for male safes [condoms] made of white Indian rubber, and herbal cures for gonorrhea, were recipes for making wood more durable than iron and practical advice for would-part-time mesmerists. Of course, many books of the time dealt in similar subjects, but not quite with Dr. Earls panache: "To transfer a pale and sallow face to one of beauty," he tells us, "take one dozen common iron nails, about 2 inches long, one tablespoon of extract of aloes hepatica, put these into a large bottle and poor upon them two quarts of eider, cork them up tightly and shake them every day for one month, then strain off the clear liquid, and of this take one table spoon upon rising and going to bed, when all paleness will leave the face, and it will ultimately attain beauty." Whether this beauty is attained in life, or ultimately achieved upon the death by poisoning of the patient, Dr. Earl fails to say. Among all the snake-oil clap-trap contained in this entertaining bit of Americana is one entry that, in its strangeness, and its use of specific names and places, stands out from the rest. On pages 253-256, we find this startling entry: "Do the Inhabitants of other Planets ever Visit this Earth? I propose in this connection to make a few remarks on the following: Mr. Henry Wallace and other persons of Jay, Ohio, have recently detailed to me the annexed. There are thousands of such cases on record. These gentlemen state, that sometimes since on a clear and bright day, a shadow was thrown over the place where they were; this necessarily attracted their attention to the Heavens, where they one and all beheld a large and curiously constructed vessel, not over one hundred yards from the earth. They could plainly discern a large number of people on board of her, whose average height appeared to be about twelve feet. The vessel was evidently worked by wheels and other mechanical appendages, all of which worked with a precision and a degree of beauty never yet attained by any mechanical skill upon this planet. Now, I know that thousands will, at this recital, cry humbug, nonsense, lunacy, &c., but I know that there are other thousands who will read and reflect. It is for these latter thousands that I write. Once upon a time there appeared a celebrated reformer, who arose among the people and taught a new doctrine, that from its reasonableness and its simplicity, electrified the hearts of the thinking people. But the party who didnt think, and who hated reason, and new ideas, cried out, away with him to the crucifixion. And they did crucify his body, but they have not yet succeeded in crucifying the reason, and new facts and ideas that be taught. In view, then, of the above, I venture to advance the following remarks: I believe that the time will come when all of the inhabitants of all worlds or planets in the solar system, will regularly visit each other when in the fullness or fruition of things, an interchange of ideas and commodities, visiting and greetings between the respective inhabitants of all worlds or planets, will be common and universal. I believe that the grand aspirations of an advanced humanity on this earth, is not without a good cause and a good reason. I believe that when the respective atmospheres seen surrounding the different planets in the solar system, indeed, of every part of the universe, shall have passed into the highest condition of excellence and purity of which it is capable, that it will then give life to a more exalted and finished condition of genera and species, or inhabitants. That all of the planets are now inhabited by a kind of beings suited to their respective planetary and electrical conditions, is, I think, certain. And that the inhabitants of thousands of these worlds, that roll with eternal beauty throughout the boundless regions of the immensity of space, have attained that advanced condition in their planetary being, I have no doubt, whatever. And that this ship which Mr. Wallace and others saw, was a vessel from Venus, Mercury, or the planet Mars, on a visit of pleasure or exploration, or some other cause; I myself, with the evidence at hand, that I can bring to bear on it, have no more doubt of, than I have of the fact of my own existence. This, mind, was no phantom that disappeared in a twinkling, as all phantoms do disappear, but this aerial ship was guided, propelled and steered through the atmosphere with the most scientific system and regularity, at about six miles an hour, though, doubtless, from the appearance of her machinery, she was capable of going thousands of miles an hour, and who knows but ten thousand miles an hour. What can be more wonderful as an illustration, than the Electric Telegraph to connect the old world with the new. And why then, may not the scientific geniuses of other planets have done as much as ours have? Besides this, if I had room, I could draw an argument from the electrical condition of the media existing between the planets, to show that a body once in motion at a given distance from a planetary body in space, will move with nearly the speed of electricity till it meets again the resisting media, or atmosphere of another planet or body in space. That all of this knowledge, and a million times more, may be known to some of the exalted beings of other planets in space, I have no doubt. But as I was saying, this aerial ship moved directly off from the earth, and remained in sight, till by distance she was lost to the view. The foregoing is my firm and decided conclusion and belief in this matter." Dr. Earl lived on to publish a new, enlarged Illustrated Silent Friend, as well as The Parent's Companion; On the diseases of infants and children; Woman; her duties, relations and position; A medical and social work; Seven Causes of Debility; and Moderate the pace that Kills; High pressure business life; all in 1878 and catalogued by the Library of Congress. Of course, the crux of the matter is this: was there really a Henry Wallace of Jay, Ohio? The most logical place to search would be the old census records for Ohio, and this is exactly what I determined to do. Because of logistical difficulties (I live half a world away), I contacted the Ohio Historical Society via the internet, paid the requisite fee, included a self-addressed envelope with my written request, and received, by mail the following letter dated April 21, 1999: Dear Mr. Glass: Regarding your request for information from the 1850 Census, please see the attached materials. You will note that there are several "Henry Wallaces" listed in the Index to the Federal Census of Ohio; unfortunately, none of them are listed in a county that includes a town by the name of Jay. However, there is a town named Jay in Erie County, which is just east of Lorain County. So we copied the Lorain County listing for a Henry Wallace in the hopes that this was the man you are interested in. The appended pages included copies from the 1860 census of Ohio. I scanned through the spidery and antique handwriting, and there he was! Henry Wallace of Eerie County, and presumably of Jay, was number 549 in the records. His age in 1860 was 30 years old. He was married to Cloe, 28, and had a daughter named Eva B who was 12 years and 8 months old at the time. Henry and his wife were Irish; his occupation was listed as "Sailor." What is more, the entry just previous to Henrys is for one David Wallace, 27 years old, and also from Ireland. He too had a wife and a young daughter to support. Davids occupation is listed as "Ship Carpenter." Presumably, David and Henry were brothers and next-door neighbors in Jay. Further perusal of the page indicates that their neighborhood was composed primarily of sailors, millers, farmers and domesticsi.e., Henry and his family appear to have been members of the working poor of the time. Their position in society was no doubt a difficult one, as was that of many Irish immigrants. Add to this the probability that Henry Wallace was corresponding with Dr. Earl because of a sexually-transmitted disease picked up during his sea-faring life, and an interesting picture emerges: either the sailor was a consummate blarney artist practicing his gift upon a big city snake-oil salesman, or Wallace was a simple person telling the truth to one whom he--mistakenly--believed to be a man of science. The "other persons," Dr. Earl mentions above, may well have been from this neighborhood of poor people in the small town of Jay, Ohio. No doubt Henry Wallace never suspected that Dr. Earl would mention him by name in his odd little book and thereby allow us to catch a glimpse of this poor man and those who might have witnessed one of the most extraordinary sights any human could behold. What thoughts could have run through their minds in the presence of an airship hovering so near to the earth that it clearly exhibited its crew of giants and the intricate machinery that made it fly? And then to watch it move grandly through the air until lost from sight!
A strange "aerial construction" bearing lights and making engine noises flew low over this town. Local people also described it as a giant bird covered with large scales producing a me- tallic noise. Although not an actual landing, this is the first instance of close observation of an unknown object at low altitude in the nineteenth century.
May. 15, 1879 Persian Gulf. Two very large "wheels" were seen spinning in the air and slowly coming to the surface of the sea. Estimated diameter: 40 m. Distance be- tween the objects: 150 m. Speed: 80 km/h/ Duration: 35 min. Witnesses aboard the ship "Vultur" (Round up 17; Anatomy 12)
1880 Aldershot (Great Britain). A strange being dressed in tight-fitting clothes and shining helmet soared over the heads of two sentries, who fired without result. The apparition stunned them with something de- scribed as "blue fire." (FSR 61, 3; Magonia)
1880 Eastern Venezuela. A 14-year-old boy saw a luminous ball descending from the sky and hovering near him. He felt somehow "drawn" to it, but succeeded in backing away in spite of his terror. (Lor. III 2O6)
Capron, J. Rand; Nature, 1882 (Auroral "meteor" / UFO)
I happened to turn to the south, where the moon (with a very pronounced lumiere cendree on its dark part) was nearly on the meridian, when I saw a spindle-shaped beam of glowing white light, quite unlike an auroral ray, had formed in the east. As I looked this slowly mounted from its position, rose to the zenith, and passed it, gradually crossing apparently above the moon, then sank into the west, slowly lessening in size and brilliancy as it did so, and fading away as it reached the horizon. The peculiar long spindle shape, slow gliding motion and glowing silver light, and the marked isolation of this cloud from the other portions of the aurora made it a most remarkable object, and I do not recollect in any former aurora to have seen anything similar.
Our in Cheatham county [Tennessee] about noon on Wednesday - a remarkably hot day - on the farm of Ed. Sharp, five miles from Ashland, a sort of whirlwind came along over the neighbouring woods, taking up small branches and leaves of trees and buring them in a sort of flaming cylinder that traveled at a rate of about five miles an hour, developing size as it traveled.It passed directly over the spot where a team of horses were feeding and singed their manes and tails up to the roots; it then swept towards the house, taking a stack of hay in its course. It seemed to increase in heat as it went, and by the time it reached the house it immediately fired the shingles from end to end of the building, so that in ten minutes the whole dwelling was wrapped in flames. The tall column of traveling caloric then continued its course over a wheat field that had been recently cradled, setting fire to all the stacks that happened to be in its course. Passing from the field, its path lay over a stretch of woods which reached the river. The green leaves on the trees were crisped to a cinder for a breadth of 20 yards, in a straight line to the Cumberland. When the "pillar of fire" reached the water, it suddenly changed its route down the river, raising a column of steam which went up to the clouds for about half-a-mile, when it finally died out. Not less than 200 people witnessed this strangest of strange phenomena, and all of them tell substantially the same story about it. Personal note: What travels at tree-top level appearing as a "sort of flaming cylinder" and that burns everything it nears for a great distance, and that is not part of a storm, and is able to move in straight lines, and has so much sustained heat that it can send up a vast cloud of steam for a distance of 1/2 mile once it follows a river?
Noble, William; Knowledge, 1883
Can any of my brother readers of 'knowledge offer a feasible explanation of a very remarkable phenomenon which I witnessed at 10h. 35m. p.m. on Tuesday, August 28? I was just coming out of my observatory when, on the E. N. E. point of the horizon beneath the Pleiades, I saw a bright light. My first thought was that the moon was rising, but an instant's reflection sufficed to remind me that she would not be up for the next two hours. As I watched the light becoming brighter and brighter, I saw that it threw a kind of radial illumination upward, the effect of which I have tried to reproduce in the accompanying rough little sketch.As will be seen, a few distant cumulo-stratus clouds, close to the horizon, crossed it. For a moment I imagined that I was viewing the apparition of a new and most glorious comet; but, as I watched, the "tail" disappeared and what would represent the nucleus flashed up brilliantly. Then I made up my mind that some distant house, barn, or haystack was on fire, and returned to the observatory for a 3 inch telescope, which I keep for looking over the landscape. Before I had time, however, to enter the door, every vestige of illumination disappeared as suddenly as it had come into view, and after waiting in vain for some time, I left the observatory and came into the house. I have diligently inquired if there was a fire anywhere in this part of Sussex on the night of which I am speaking, but there was none.
Nov. 12, 1887 Cape Race (Atlantic Ocean). A huge sphere of fire was observed rising out of the ocean by witnesses aboard the "Siberian." It rose to an altitude of 16 m, flew against the wind, and came close to the ship, then "dashed oft" toward the southeast. Duration: 5 min. (LDLN 48; Anatomy 14)
Mar. 28, 1897 Omaha (Nebraska). The majority of the population observed an object arriving from the southeast. It looked like a huge light, flew northwestward slowly, came to low altitude. A crowd gathered at a street corner to watch it.
Apr. 01, 1897 Everest (Kansas). The whole town saw an object fly under the cloud ceiling. It came down slowly, then flew away very fast to the southeast. When directly over the town it swept the ground with its powerful light. It was seen to rise up at fantastic speed until barely discernible, then to come down again and sweep low over the witnesses. At one point it re- mained stationary for 5 min at the edge of a low cloud, which it illuminated. All could clearly see the silhouette of the craft. (FSR 66, 4)
Apr. 12, 1897 Nilwood (Illinois). On the property of Z. Thacker, 19 km north of Carlinville, an unknown object landed. Before the three witnesses could reach it, the craft, which was shaped like a cigar with a dome, rose slowly and left majestically toward the north. Witnesses: Edward Teeples, William Street and Franklin Met- calf. (186; Anatomy 12)
Apr. 12, 1897 Girard, near Green Ridge (Illinois). A large crowd of miners saw an unknown object land 3 km north of Green Ridge and 4 km south of Girard. The night operator of the Chicago-and-Alton Railroad, Paul Mc- Cramer, stated that he came sufficiently close to the craft to see a man emerge from it to repair the ma- chinery. Traces were found over a large area. The object itself was elongated like a ship with a roof and a double canopy. It left toward the north. (186,187)
Apr. 14, 1897 Gas City (Indiana). An object landed 2 km south of Gas City on the property of John Roush, terrifying the farmers and causing the horses and cattle to stampede. Six occupants of the ship came out and seemed to make some repairs. Before the crowd could approach the object, it rose rapidly and flew toward the east. (188)
Apr. 15, 1897 Linn Grove (Iowa). A large object was seen to fly slowly toward the north. It seemed ready to land and five men (F. G. Ellis, James Evans, David Evans, Joe Croaskey, Benjamin Buland) drove toward it. About 7 km north of Linn Grove, they found the craft on the ground, came within 700 m of it but it "spread its four giant wings and rose towards the North." Two strange figures aboard the craft made efforts to con- ceal themselves. Witnesses were surprised at the length of their hair. Most residents of Linn Grove saw the craft in flight. (190)
Apr. 15, 1897 Howard-Artesian (South Dakota). A flying object coming closer and closer to the ground followed a train, as reported by the engineer, Joe Wright (FSR 66,4)
Apr. 15, 1897 Perry Springs (Missouri). A passenger train on the Wabash line, going toward Quincy, was followed by a low-flying object for 15 min between Perry Springs and Hersman. All the passengers saw the craft, which had a red and white light. After Hersman it flew ahead of the train and disappeared rapidly, although the train was then running at 65 km/h. (190)
Apr. 16, 1897 Downs Township (Illinois). Approximate date. While working in his field, Haney Savidge saw an aerial craft land near him. Six people emerged from it and spoke to him for a few minutes before leaving again. (191)
Apr. 17, 1897 Williamston (Michigan). At least a dozen farmers saw an object maneuver in the sky for an hour before it landed. A strange man near 3 m tall, almost naked and suffering from the heat, was the pilot of the craft. "His talk, while musical, seemed to be a repeti- tion of bellowings." One farmer went near him and received a blow that broke his hip. (196)
Apr. 19, 1897 Leroy (Kansas). Alexander Hamilton was awakened by a noise among the cattle and went out with his son and his tenant. They saw an elongated cigar- shaped object, about 100 m long with a transparent cabin underneath showing narrow reddish bands, hovering 10 m above ground. They approached within 50 m of it. It was illuminated and equipped with a searchlight. Inside it were "six of the strangest be- ings" the witness had seen, also described as "hid- eous." They spoke a language no witness could understand. A cow was dragged away by the object with the help of a strong red cable; it was found butchered in a field the next day. (Anatomy 16; Ma- gonia)
Apr. 22, 1897 Rockland (Texas). John M. Barclay was intrigued when his dog barked furiously and a high-pitched noise was heard. He went out, saw a flying object circling 5 m above ground. Elongated with protru- sions and blinding lights, it went dark when it landed. Barclay was met by a man who told him his purpose was peaceful and requested some common hardware items to repair the craft. He paid with a ten-dollar bill and took off "like a bullet out of a gun." (192; Magonia)
Apr. 22, 1897 Josserand (Texas). Frank Nichols, who lived 3 km 2400 east of Josserand and was one of its most respected citizens, was awakened by a machine noise. Looking outside, he saw a heavy, lighted object land in his wheat field. He walked toward it, was stopped by two men who asked permission to draw water from his well. He then had a discussion with a half-dozen men, the crew of the strange machine. He was told how it worked but could not follow the explanation. (193; Magonia)
Apr. 23, 1897 McKinney Bayou (Arkansas). Judge Lawrence A. Byrne of Texarkana, Arkansas, was surveying a tract of land when he saw a peculiar object anchored on the ground. "It was manned by three men who spoke a foreign language, but judging from their looks one would take them to be Japs." (Farish, in Allende Letters (Award Special, 1968) )
Apr. 25, 1897 Merkel (Texas). People returning from church ob- served a heavy object being dragged along the ground by a rope attached to a flying craft. The rope got caught in a railroad track. The craft was too high for its structure to be visible but protrusions and a light could be distinguished. After about 10 min a man came down along the rope cut the end free, and went back aboard the craft, which flew away toward the northeast. The man was small and dressed in a light- blue uniform. (194; Magonia)
Apr. 26, 1897 Aquila-Hillsboro (Texas). Approximate date. A law- yer was surprised to see a lighted object fly over. His horse was sacred and nearly toppled the carriage. When the main light was turned off, a number of smaller lights became visible on the underside of the dark object, which supported an elongated canopy. It went down toward a hill to the south, 5 km from Aquila. When the witness was on his way back one hour later he saw the object rising. It reached the altitude of the cloud ceiling and flew to the northeast at a fantastic speed with periodic flashes of light.
It appeared as if it was going to alight at Kaka Point. The light from it was distinctly reflected on the roof of Mr. Fitzgerald's cottage. The boys thought it was being attracted by their lantern and left it on the beach. The airship then glided around the rocks at the old pilot station and nearly came in contact with them. It shortly afterwards disappeared. The boys said it was as big as a house.
On Sunday night (July 25, 1909) the mysterious object again made its appearance at the beach and was seen by Mr. George Smith and Mr. Poulter about 8:30. Mr. Smith viewed it through a very powerful night glass. It was apparently over Mr. Aitkenhead's house when he first saw it, but it glided high in the air and sailed north in the direction of Kaitangata, swooping west and east and finally disappearing over the horizon.
About 10:30 Mr. Smith was called out by Mr. Poulter to see the airship which again had made its appearance. This time it headed out to sea and eventually disappeared. As seen through the glass, Mr. Smith said it appeared to be a fair size, dark superstructure with a powerful headlight and two smaller ones (lights) at the side.
Brian Zeiler reports more astronomers than generally realized have seen UFOs. The list is compiled in a 1964 compilation of data from NICAP, a civilian UFO group with mostly Ph.D.s on the board of directors. Very scientific, pragmatic, academic group.
On July 10, 1947, a top astronomer saw an elliptical object which hovered, wobbled, ascended suddenly.
August of 1949, Clyde W. Tombaugh, astronomer saw a circular pattern of rectangular lights, keeping fixed interval.
Summer 1948, Carl Mitchell, physicist saw three luminescent greenish discs one-second apart, pass across sky from N to S. On March 20, 1950, Seymour L. Hess, meteorology and astronomy saw a disc or sphere in apparent "powered" flight.
On August 3, 1951, Walter Webb, an astronomer saw a bright glowing light moving in undulating path.
In 1952, W. Gordon Graham, astronomer saw an UFO "like a smoke ring, elliptical in shape, and having two bright pinpoints of light along its main axis move overhead from west to east.
On August 5, 1952, James Bartlett, astronomer saw during the daylight observation of Venus a flight of two disks with a diameter about 30 minutes of arc; passed overhead and turned east. Then two more disks with dome-like protrusions in center.
On June 11, 1954, H. Percy Wilkins, an astronomer saw two silvery objects "like polished metal plates" moving against the wind. A third grayish oval arced across sky.
On November 25, 1954, Marcos Guerci, meteorologist saw two luminous objects observed from airport; one apparently semicircular, other circular.
12/7/54 R. H. Kleyweg, meteorologist. Hemispherical disk tracked through theodolite.
11/1/55 Frank Halstead, astronomer. A cigar-shaped object followed by domed disk.
6/18/57 Henry Carlock, physicist. Observing sky with telescope; twice glimpsed UFO with halo around it and "what appeared to be three portholes."
11/10/57 Jacques Chapuis, astronomer at Toulouse Observatory saw a maneuvering yellow star-like object for 5 minutes. The UFO finally ascended straight up out of sight.
5/22/60, Observatory Staff Majorca . Triangular UFO about 1/4 apparent size of moon sighted at 9:33 AM, spinning on its axis while on steady course.
3/16/61 R. J. Villela, a meteorologist in Antarctica saw a fireball-like object in low-level flight.
5/20/62 C. A. Maney, a physicist with six others saw a maneuvering light, turn sharply, and make sudden changes in speed. These reports cover only though 1964, so this should annihilate the myth that astronomers and scientists don't see UFOs.
- Brian Zeiler and NICAP