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Nocturnal lights / historical descriptions


Polterwurst

Paranormal Adept
As you might know, I'm fascinated by the "nocturnal lights" kind of UFOs, especially the ones where there doesn't really seem to be a material object behind the sighting, but just a "ball of energy or plasma" which does physics-defying manoeuvers, mostly whirling and swirling around, separating, disappearing and reappearing etc.

I have my theory they might be related to the light phenomena reported in hauntings (not the orb fotos), and actually are fundamentally different from "nuts and bolts" UFOs (and other nocturnal sightings like that of triangles etc), but that's nothing I'd defend with my life.

I'm going to gather some descriptions I've found in books, documentaries etc., especially those which seem to indicate that this phenomenon has been reported (and subsequently ignored by science) for centuries.

Here is one I found accidentally just this evening. It's the reason I decided to open this thread.

I was reading a story by the spanish author Gustavo Adolfo Becquer which was published posthumously in 1871 in his book "leyendas" in which he had gathered legends and folkloristic stories of his home country, some in fictionalized form. The story (translated from the german title) is called "The devil's cross", it's a ghost story Becquer certainly did take some artistic license with, but the description I stumbled over is almost certainly something he'd heard about in folk tales, maybe even from eye-witnesses:

"Through the darkness in the distance, people saw mysterious lights traveling up the twisted paths to the Rock of the Segre and, once they were there, they spread through the ruins of the castle, traveling back and forth, disappearing and then reappearing , in a strange way that no one could explain."

That's the third paragraph on page 5 in the PDF linked above. It seems to have been shortened in the english translation. In my german translation, there's actually a bit more description, so I translated that (unfortunately before I found out that there was an english PDF of this on the web, that would have made it easier):

In the darkness, far over there, now rising along the contorted slopes of Segre rock, now whirling aimlessly around the castle ruins, now floating high up in the air, there was seen a darting, swarming, disappearing, reappearing and scattering of mysterious, fantastical lights, the origin of which no one knew to explain.

(highlighting by me)

Sounds very much like descriptions from places like Hessdalen, Brown Mountain etc to me. Later, the story says that this all takes place in a very remote region, which also fits most of these places where light phenomena are reported regularly.

OK, that's it for now, more to come. If anyone is interested, post your thoughts.
 
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Polterwurst

Paranormal Adept
Well, after all I've read and heard, I'd say the really exciting "light shows" are very rare. Probably chances are that if yo get to see anything at all, it's gonna be one or two stationary lights moving very slowly if at all and then disappearing. Which is not very spectacular, apart from the fact that these things aren't really explained.

Btw., there has been an explanation put forward by the italian scientists involved in the Hessdalen project, that the whole valley is one geological "battery". Erling Strand doesn't seem very satisfied with it, though.

OK, back to historical descriptions.

Jacques Vallée's and Chris Aubeck's book "Wonders in the Sky" is of course chock-full of those, and I'll probably be citing it quite a lot here. The reports they allowed into the book are always well researched and the sources really historical. If a story might be purely ficticious or a misinterpretation of meteors, planets, aurora borealis etc, they state it.

Although the "wonders in the sky" detailed in the book range from simple lights to (probably) saucer-like objects to ships in the sky complete with occupants, I'll be cherry-picking the ones that seem to indicate "non-material balls of light".

Obviously, these reports are very rarely by the witnesses themselves but written down only (much) later by people who often had their own idea what the sightings might mean. In medieval times, for example, it seems to have been important to give them some religious or portentuous meaning, and often the sightings are said to be of crosses, swords and shields.

This description of a "signs and portents" type of sighting was written by the greek author Plutarch in the 1st century, writing about a war in 103 BC:

"(...) at night there had been seen in the heavens flaming spears and shields which at first moved in different directions, and then clashed together, assuming the formations and movements of men in battle, and finally some of them would give way, while others pressed on in pursuit, and all streamed away to the westward."

(highlighting by me)

IMO, take away the martial words and replace them with more neutral ones and you end up with lights in the sky that behave very much like those in my first example, scattering, merging, swarming etc.

As I was talking about stationary and not very spectacular objects above, here's another description, by a traveller in China in the year 840:

"Early that night we saw a 'sacred lamp' on top of the ridge, on the other side of the valley (...) The light was about the size of a begging bowl at first but it expanded to the size of a small house. Deeply moved, the crowd sang with full voice (...) Then another lamp appeared, near the valley. That one, too, only was the size of a rain straw hat at first, and then it grew gradually. The two lights, when seen from afar, seemed about 100 steps apart. They were shining ardently. At midnight they died, becoming invisible."

I'd say that's very much like what we see in some of the "ball of light" videos you find on Youtube, complete with the "growing/intensifying effect". In 840, there shouldn't have been any car headlights, aircraft, floodlights etc. Meteors, planets and the like also seem very unlikely. And I don't think the crowd would have been "deeply moved" if they had only been looking at a faraway bonfire or something. They probably would have known what that looked like. Seems they even had a name for it: "sacred lamps", which to me indicates a phenomenon that could be seen regularly but not too often. Much like we call them "mystery lights" today or "ghost / spook lights" in more recent history.

OK that's it for today. Btw., I put the "/" in the thread title between nocturnal lights and historical, because I wanted the thread to be about these phenomena in general, not only the historical perspective. So if you find more modern cases or a good video which fits the descriptions , please post! And of course, if you find historical descriptions.
 
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Polterwurst

Paranormal Adept
Goggs Mackay opened this thread about "nocturnal lights" filmed over New Mexico, which reminded me of a description I had read in "Wonders in the Sky". It's unfortunately a very short one and only second-hand, as it seems. According to the book, it comes from a source called "Nihon nu ufo" by one Takao Ikeda and was published in Tokyo in 1974.

The title is "A necklace of ten lights in the sky". According to that source, allegedly, this was seen in July of 1096 in Japan:

Ten flying objects combined to form a necklace in the sky in the northwest.

(highlighting by me)

Well, I said it was a short one. I had hoped the text was longer than I remembered, but no luck I guess. I wonder where the title "ten lights..." comes from, though, because the description itself only says "flying objects". It also doesn't state anything about the time of day, which is also quite a disappointment.

Of course, a formation of birds flying in a single line seen from afar might also look like pearls on a necklace or something, but again, people would have known what that looks like, back then even more so than today, so why record it?

OK, to make up for the not so amazing description and questionable source, here's a longer video with more nocturnal lights, for anyone who likes to wonder...
EDIT Uh oh. There's also a slyboots shooting a laser pointer beam at an object that might be a plane in there. Bad idea. NOT to be recommended.
 
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Trixterrestrial

Skilled Investigator
After years of research and reading the UFO lore, I've come around to looking at Spook Lights as one of the more interesting aspects of the phenomenon. We had some in Arkansas when I was younger, and I've been to Marfa TX. Now that I'm in the Pacific Northwest, I'm hearing about the Yakima Lights in WA. I'm planning a trip this weekend or next to look around the area.

Anyone out there have any information on the Yakima Lights? It seems to be dormant now?
 

Jeff Davis

Paranormal Adept
I cannot believe I missed this thread! Very fascinating entry into what may be natural forces associated with UFO relative technologies. I wonder if many of the mythological Elementals fall into this category as well?

Here is my own experience with possibly just such a phenomenon. I have located the gentleman (if you can call him that ;-) that shared the experience with myself. It is my intention to have Jim contact a neutral individual such as @Sentry, and then report the event back to the forum as a reported memory contamination/correlations test. I have not let Jim know yet about the UFO reporting. I have not even contacted him yet. I have just obtained his phone number from a mutual friend at this point for just this purpose.

One of The Most Inspiring Events In My Life | The Paracast Community Forums
 

Jeff Davis

Paranormal Adept
c
OK, to make up for the not so amazing description and questionable source, here's a longer video with more nocturnal lights, for anyone who likes to wonder...
EDIT Uh oh. There's also a slyboots shooting a laser pointer beam at an object that might be a plane in there. Bad idea. NOT to be recommended.
I mentioned this earlier in the thread I linked to via my experience, but here is what I referred to as being similar to what I witnessed as recorded in mass over Mexico city several decades ago. I am not endorsing anything to do with "crop circles" here, just pointing to covers of this old video series which has some remarkable video (in places, not all) within them. Here is also one of the vids from the tube.

UFO mass sighting Mexico City


I continued this here because it was never my intention to veer away from this excellent thread, but rather to detail and expand our interests in light phenomena based on the former reported experience. Please also see the thread I originally posted on the forum several months back, that was just linked to in this thread, to determine Sentry's upcoming findings of Jim's shared experience reporting. I have decided to give Curtis Jim's phone number directly before even contacting Jim. It's been several years since we (Jim & I) last spoke, but I know Jim will not mind in the least, and frankly, this will assure an ultimate in afforded control at this point with respect to our experiment.
 

Polterwurst

Paranormal Adept
I continued this here because it was never my intention to veer away from this excellent thread, but rather to detail and expand our interests in light phenomena based on the former reported experience.
Thanks. I thought we'd discuss your sighting over in that thread, but we can also do it here. So did anything in the Alison Kruse videos remind you of your sighting, especially the "laser beam" and the lights changing color? Or do you think these vids are of something mundane?

In her videos, Kruse often decribes the color of the light objects as golden or orange, a color that also features prominently in the following historical descriptions:

Although many people still think they might really have been secret weapons, I'll include foo fighters here.

These descriptions are certainly historical and often seem to be of rather non-material nocturnal "balls of fire". During daytime, these descriptions often change to silvery disks or spheres, though. It seems that they have been shot at by gunners and pilots, but the projectiles didn't show any effect, which would support the non-material hypothesis.

Here's a video containing an eyewitness report:

And this is a collection of foo fighter reports from the Computer UFO Network:
Foo-Fighter Documents Provided by Barry Greenwood

Some excerpts (highlighting by me):

About 1910, between Rastatt and Bishwiller, encountered lights at 3000 ft., two sets of them, turned into them, one went out and the other went straight up 2-3000 ft, then went out. Turned back to base and looked back and saw lights in their original position again.

Halfway between Wissembourg and Landau sighted amber lights at 2000 feet. One light was 20 to 50 feet above the other and of about 30 seconds duration. Lights were about a foot in diameter, 1000 ft. away and following Beau. Lights disappeared when Beau turned into them."

The crew of plane #616 over FALA ISLAND, TRUK ATOLL, at 021802Z observed 2 airborne objects at their 11,000 foot altitude changing from a cherry red to an orange, and to a white light which would die out and then become cherry red again. These objects were out on either wing and not within range of caliber .50 machine guns. Both followed the B-24 through all types of evasive action.

In vicinity of Hagenau Saw 2 lights coming toward aircraft from ground. After reaching the altitude of the aircraft they leveled off and flew on the tail of Beau for 2 minutes and they peeled up and turned away.

8th mission - sighted 2 orange lights. One light sighted at 10,000 the other climbed until it disappeared.

1st patrol saw 2 sets of 3 red and white lights. One appeared on port side, the other on starboard at 1,000 to 2,000 feet to rear and closing in. Beau peeled off and lights went out, nothing on GCI (ground radar) at the time.

Observed lights suspended in air, moving slowly in no general direction and then disappeared. Lights were orange, and appeared singly and in pairs. These lights were observed 4 or 5 times throughout the period.


Well, if they were a "secret weapon", they were highly inefficient as such. That the germans or the japanese would have used aircraft that could trail, circle and outmanoeuver any of the allied airplanes without the slightest problem, as a means to destroy them, seems like a no-brainer to me.

Other than that I would say that the manoeuverability, changes in speed and color and the ability to disappear instantly showing up in the above descriptions, seems very much like more modern sighting reports and videos of light phenomena and like the reports of "fiery shields and arrows" in historical texts. Meaning (IMO) that "foo fighters" actually were nothing new when they turned up in WW II and probably never went away either. It's just that they get more "publicity" in times when people are "watching the skies".
 
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Polterwurst

Paranormal Adept
Now that I'm in the Pacific Northwest, I'm hearing about the Yakima Lights in WA. I'm planning a trip this weekend or next to look around the area.
Did you go on that trip yet? Please post if you see anything. It's astounding how many places in the US are said to have these things. You'll hear nothing of the sort here in Germany. I had to dig up some local news from a place in the southern black forest, but I've never found anything else. If there's "spook lights" type legends, the locals are probably hushing them up or laughing them off, at least publicly).

Btw., these are the fotos I found about light phenomena in Germany, and I posted some short translations of the articles. We don't have many really remote places in Germany any more, but the Southern Black Forest certainly fits the "profile". And of course, the lights seem to be orange to white in color.

With all the enthusiasm, I think it's best to stay sceptical with each new claim. I don't doubt that BOL phenomena are real, but there's also going to be false claims and misinterpretations.

Anyways, thanks for the heads up. I hadn't heard of the Yakima lights (to be honest, I'd never heard of the place itself, the US is so mind-bogglingly big), so I googled around. Here's a short video talking about the Yakima lights. For the purposes of this thread, I'll transcript a few of the descriptions.


- typically orange or white balls of light (although I've found some reports of bluish lights)

- mostly hovering or moving slowly

- appear to be "inquisitive", said to have followed motorists in thier cars

The last point may be hearsay and mythology building up around the lights, but I hink the rest is probably factual. The funny thing is, there's desriptions in "Wonders in the Sky" of balls of light following people on foot or on horseback in historic times (I'll get back to the weirder stuff in that book and other places later).
 
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Trixterrestrial

Skilled Investigator
Thanks! I welcome all earthlights info and find it fascinating.

My trip was postponed, but I'll be there next week in my mini "para tour" of the west.

I'll hit Yakima in Wa, then the Dove Creek Sinks and skinwalker ranch in Utah (hitting the caves of course, nobody ever mentions the caves), and ending in The Mysterious SLV of Colorado as reported by our own Chris OBrien.

I'm happy to meet like minds and adventure into these types of locations, should anyone wish to join me on part of my travels.

Highlight for next week: the humming hills at Bruneau Sand Dunes, Idaho. Are they really speaking?
 

Polterwurst

Paranormal Adept
Well, if these lights are not just natural phenomena and if it's true that they sometimes behave like they are intelligent, it could be that they avoid being recorded and show themselves only to people who aren't hoping to see anything, so don't be too disappointed if you don't see much.

Of course, if you do see something, please try to document and post your experiences here. I hereby declare you an official Paracast frontlines researcher :D
Not that I have any offical authority though...

And in case of abduction, remember what Mr Shermer says, try to nick a probe, a ballpoint pen or something and bring it back.

Ps, I believe the caves in NE Utah, in the skinwalker area, are meaningful and completely ignored in the literature. Hopefully a book about caves and the paranormal is in my future if I can get time.
By all means!
 

Charlie Prime

Paranormal Adept
Alternative Explanation: Light Beings

I'm darn near an atheist, but the video below has irritated me for years.

Context: Some Muslims believe in spooky entities called Nur. These are like angels or demons that show up as "light beings".

This cell-phone video is a religious festival in Iraq called a Ghameh Zani where participants self-flagellate like Catholics in order to whip themselves into a religious frenzy by konking themselves in the head with a sword.

The thing in the video looks like a light being dancing around with a sword. It stands to my reason that if such kooky beings exist, they would be attracted to places where they are most appreciated. (Mojeza means "miracle".)


Thesis: These balls of light described throughout history are some type of spirit or extra-dimensional being flying around.
 

Polterwurst

Paranormal Adept
Wow. Cool vid. Of course, you could probably do it with CGI using the outlines of a normal dancer. If this was a real event, why does the camera veer off and wy don't the others react more strongly? Either a well done fake or...

Thesis: These balls of light described throughout history are some type of spirit or extra-dimensional being flying around.
...which of course is what I'm asking myself, although I would rather go for the "discarnate consciousness" thesis. Ghosts that somehow found out how to make a ball of gas glow and take it along and keep the glowing effect up going for long periods of time. I know how that sounds. It'st pure and utter speculation, of course, but based on the fact that some haunting and poltergeist type stories also contain small balls of light, in the "Entity" case they have even been photographed, as it seems. And I wonder if there's maybe more than superstition behind the fact that they have been called "spook lights" or "ghost lights" so often. I mean, how many legends about alleged nocturnal light objects have you heard that say it's the ghosts of this unlucky railroadman or these unfortunate indians/settlers/soldiers who have been cruelly killed hundreds of years ago?

There are several historical accounts in "Wonders in the Sky", where people allegedly saw human figures or faces inside a light, but this one, where a light turns into a kind of apparition, takes the cake I guess, at least it fits quite well here. The whole account is quite detailed and the source seems believeable.

This report was initially published in a pamphlet by a Reverend Abraham Cummings in 1826. In the year 1806, he was investigating the alleged apparitions of a deceased woman, which he seems to have been quite sceptical of. One evening, two people informed him to have seen the "specter" in a field. He went out and saw what he at first believed to be a white rock.

"Three minutes after, I accidentally looked in the same direction, and the white rock was in the air; its form a complete globe, with a tincture of red and its diameter about two feet. Fully satisfied that this was nothing ordinary I went toward it for more accurate examination. While my eye was constantly upon it, I went on for four or five steps, when it came to me from the distance of eleven rods, as quick as lightning, and instantly assumed a personal form with a female dress, but did not appear taller than a girl seven years old. While I looked upon her, I said in my mind "you are not tall enough for the woman that has so frequently appeared among us!" Immediately she grew up as large and tall as I considered the woman to be."

The text in Vallée's and Aubeck's book continues that Cummings included 30 affidavits of eyewitnesses. Apparently, this apparition had been seen "on scores of occasions", always beginning as a small luminous cloud which would then grow "until it took the form of the deceased woman. Afterwards it would take its exit in much the same way."

Btw., the alleged reaction of the light to the Reverend's thought does have modern counterparts (Hessdalen, Scole). Some people say that light objects seem to have reacted to something they thought. I know, it's hard to to consider, but the similarity is there, in a report from 200 yers ago.

While I would say that the description before the "morphing" sounds a bit like the ones I posted earlier, of foo fighters, spook lights etc. (whitish with a tinge of red, about two feet wide, very fast movement), I'm not saying this is it, these ball of light sightings are actually ghost sightings. There are other reports that seem to indicate that they belong to Ufology. And why aren't there many more of these reports, if it's ghosts?

It's just my personal speculation, and I'm not trying to convince anyone here. The testimony of the fearless reverend with its affidavits seems quite impressive, but 200 years later, I guess it's impossible to say how much of it is true.
 
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Charlie Prime

Paranormal Adept
Interesting account! Thanks.

Funny side-note: A couple of weeks ago I hired a moving company in Dallas to unload a truck for me. The four kids who showed up were Iraqis, political refugees. Only one could speak a smattering of English. That made him The Boss.

I sat talking with "Boss" about the war in Iraq while the other guys worked. I asked him "What is Nur? Like Jinn. You know Nur?". His eyes got as big as saucers and jumped up and started pacing the floor blathering in Arabic like a madman. Scared the crap out of him. So I shut up about it.

He later told my wife "Your husband scare me, but he good guy". :)

Also funny, a couple of months ago in Phoenix I hired a hard-core Jewish guy to load the same junk into a truck for me. He freaked out every time my sister walked in the room. He would just stop talking and stare at the floor until she left. I showed him Welcome to Meru Foundation's Meeting Tent on his iPhone and he thought that was the coolest thing ever. Gave me a long lecture on Kaballah.
 

Polterwurst

Paranormal Adept
He later told my wife "Your husband scare me, but he good guy". :)
...y'know...that actually that sums up my own impression quite well...;)

OK, now that we're into the weirder stuff, I'll include a few more accounts from "Wonders in the sky". Of course, these are only excerpts of a few cherry-picked paragraphs, for the full accounts check the book.

Here's an example of human shapes seen inside the lights. In an "historical note on earth tremors at the village of Beaumont" (at least that's what I'd translate from the french "notice historique sur le tremblement de terre du village de Beaumont"), published in 1812, there is a mention of seven travelers in a coach being

"...scared when they observed a luminous ball that hovered over the path close to the coach. The object split into four lights. Four human figures were seen, enclosed inside the objects, which looked like lanterns."
(highlighting by me)

The title is interesting in that it mentions earth tremors, which could mean that these lights were caused piezoelectrically, but it's actually the first time that I've read of these two things, earthquakes and light phenomena, together. Mostly, there is no such connection to be made.

The splitting into several objects seems familiar, but human figures? Maybe pareidolia, maybe pure imagination. But when I read this, I was reminded of a modern "account":

In a lecture by the german researcher Gerhard Gröschel, who investigates light phenomena being seen and fotographed in Knittelfeld, Austria (and elsewhere), he talks as an aside, not really believing it himself, about patterns inside the enlarged lights that remind him of faces and "alien babies". I guess it's like with these orb photos, into which people are interpreting all kinds of faces, symbols and stuff. It's also possible that people in former times, when they had a "close encounter" with one of these BOLS, gave these patterns religious meaning. The question being, of course, if these don't only turn up in fotographs.

Here's the lecture by Mr Gröschel. No subtitles, I'm afraid, and the objects on the slides he shows are hard to discern. But maybe you want to get an impression of him. He's is an engineer and IMO a very credible, down-to-earth guy.

And here are some of the pictures he talks about, that have been taken at Knittelfeld by the two main witnesses. The video is not very enlightening (just a hovering light object) and the "666" picture at the very bottom seems too good or too weird to be true. Maybe fake (as could be the others, of course). It's said by the two witnesses (who are professional fotographers btw.) to have shown up when they tried longer exposure times with the light objects they were seeing (mostly from their balcony) in the sky and on the wooded mountain slopes. They think whoever is behind the lights was trying to have some fun and scare them. There are a few other witnesses, but they are not as "prominent" and outspoken (there's more claimed phenomena, some of which are really out there).

Needless to say, Knittelfeld is a quite remote place in Austria, sorrounded by mountains and woods, similar to Hessdalen. And of course, some of the lights in the fotos seem to be orangish-white again.
 
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Charlie Prime

Paranormal Adept
...y'know...that actually that sums up my own impression quite well...;)
Ha! This is why I became a professional fighter. My social filter is very poor. I say whatever appears in my mind. I'm not malicious, just too honest. Consequently, people tend to either love my honesty and cherish my friendship, or hate me and want to kick my azz, so I had to learn to defend myself from bullies at a young age. I got good enough to earn money on the weekends with it. My wife of 26 years tells me when to S.T.F.U. I obey her because I understand this defect in my personality. As I get older I'm learning better how to filter.

Someone should write a comprehensive book focusing specifically on this Ball of Light category of UFOs, similar to Christopher O'Brien's book on cattle mutilations.

I'm a newbie to the UFO study, but this category already seems very distinct to me.

Is my impression inaccurate?
 

Polterwurst

Paranormal Adept
I'm a newbie to the UFO study, but this category already seems very distinct to me.

Is my impression inaccurate?
Well, obviously, if it flies and isn't readily explainable, it can be called a UFO, so these balls of lights do belong to the field in general. The question is if they really are the same phenomenon as the more nuts-and-bolts UFOs, which seem to be aircraft of some sort (probably not built by us), or if they might be someting more paranormal and less material. But IMO, your impression is not inaccurate.

That's why I'm asking UFO veterans like Ray Stanford or George Wingfield this question. I'm a newbie to that field myself. Stanford thinks the Hessdalen (and similar) phenomena are probably natural phenomena, and Wingfield rather seems to dismiss them, giving more credence to the sightings in which a dark body is seen between the lights (post here) and speculating about a holographic effect being responsible for the "immaterial" aspect.

In general, most people concerned with UFOs tend to be like "well, they could be anything, so why bother". At least that's the vibe I get. Maybe they don't like the way these lights point away from UFOs being real, material objects.

Personally, I tend to think they are of the more paranormal kind, but I could be mistaken, of course. When thinking about future or alien technology, anything goes. They could be some kind of energy-based probe sent out from the "motherships" or even a life-form of their own. Maybe even the very "beings of energy" Erich von Däniken says he has been paid a visit by in his "autobiographical novel" Tomy and the Planet of Lies, although they do sound quite a bit new-agey and too good to be true. And there are undoubtedly many sighting reports in which balls of lights seem to emerge from "nuts and bolts" UFOs, which implies a direct connection.

In "Wonders in the Sky", there are many accounts which could be interpreted both ways. For example, on October 10th 1852, a french astronomer recorded

..."an unusual 'meteor' at 8 P.M. It was a third-degree object first seen near "nu" of Capricorn. It described a 30-degree trajectory in the sky, changing its direction from northeast to southwest."

...in other words, doing the proverbial 90-degree turn. This could have been some large alien craft outside the atmosphere, of course, but also one of our "foo fighter" type balls of light, just 2 to 3 feet wide and flying much closer. What I don't think it was is a bird or a mistaken real meteor, or even a firefly btw. IMO, these sightings are still being made by professional and amateur astronomers today and routinely swept under the rug (as Jacques Vallée's own story shows).

A really good and credible account comes from the diary of Cynthia Everett, a school teacher in Maine in the early 1800s. It's obvious that she had some astronomical knowledge and would probably have recognized a natural phenomenon as such. For July 22nd 1808, she noted:

"About 10 o'clock, I saw a very strange appearance. It was a light which proceeded from the east. At first sight, I thought it was a meteor, but from its motion I soon perceived it was not. It seemed to dart at first as quickly as a light and appeared to be in the atmosphere, but lowered toward the ground and kept on at an equal distance, sometimes ascending, sometimes descending. It moved round in the then visible horizon (it was not very light) and then returned back again."

(as usual, the emphasized passages are not in the original text but were highlighted by me, to facilitate comparing the descriptions in this thread)

The old problem: with no reference point it's hard to make out exactly how far away a nocturnal light may be, so: "could have been anything".

To chill out, I recommend having a look at this fastwalker-video by Alison Kruse, which seems to fit some of the descriptions quite well. Again, these lights could be something high up (as this scottish fastwalker-filmer said, battling out in space) or something closer to home. But as I said with the astronomer in 1852, no, I don't think they are birds, bats or bugs. They would be more out of focus and she probably wouldn't be able to follow them with the camera like this if they were very close. I also think Mrs Kruse is not out to hoax anybody or doing expert CGI work. There might be one or two satellites or airplanes in there, but the ones with a rather erratic flight path, well, I dont know...

For the impatient: the real headscratcher begins at around 11:30.
 
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