1882 – 1896
1882 England: A huge UFO, the first such phenomenon which was characteristically saucer-shaped in Europe, was plainly observed by numerous people in England and other parts of Europe during the night. It was seen to travel in the sky at an approximate altitude of 130 miles in an east-west direction. A number of eminent scientists witnessed the object, among them being Dr E Walter Maunder, Greenwich astronomer; English spectroscopist, J Rand Capron; Dutch astronomers Audemans and Zeeman. The Royal Observatory, Greenwich published a report of the conclusions reached by scientists, following the appearance of what had been termed, “The Great Saucer”. The report had this to say: “It appeared to be well defined in body and the inference drawn was that it was a meteor, not in the old vague sense of some object high in the Earth’s atmosphere, but in the sense of a solid cosmological substance, disc-like in appearance, the orbit of which brought it within the terrestrial atmosphere. But nothing could be more unlike the rush of a great meteor or fireball, with intense radiance and fiery train. The advance of this object, though swift, appeared to be orderly and controlled. There was no sign of the compression of the atmosphere before it, no hint that the matter composing its front part, was in anyway more strongly heated than the rest of its substance, if substance, indeed it possessed.”
• Germany, Segeberg: A teacher and children at a school all saw two fiery balls in a clear sky one day. The size of two full moons, the objects traveled slowly together from north to south.
• Mexico, Zacatecas: An astronomer at the Zacatecas Observatory saw 143 circular objects cross in front of the sun. The astronomer, Professor Jose’ Bonilla, managed to take a photograph of one of the objects. He wrote up his finding, which were sent to the French journal L’Astronomie.
1884 USA, Dundy County, Nebraska: Four cowboys heard a whirring noise overhead then saw a cylindrical object crash into the ground. Researcher Kevin Randle believes this case to have been a hoax.
1885 Turkey, Constantinople: From ‘L’Astronomie’: M. Mavrogordato, calls our attention to the following strange observations which have been communicated to him. “On November 1, at 9:30pm, there was seen, west of Adrianople, an elongated object giving off a strong luminosity. It seemed to float in the air and its apparent disk was four or five times larger than the full moon. It traveled slowly and cast light on the whole camp behind the station with a brightness about ten times greater than a large electric bulb. In the morning, at dawn, a very luminous flame, first bluish, then greenish, and moving at a height of five to six meters, made a series of turns around the ferryboat pier at Scutari. Its blinding luminosity lighted the street and flooded the inside of the houses with light.”
1886 Venezuela: During the night of the 24th of October last, which was rainy and tempestuous, a family of nine persons, sleeping in a hut a few leagues from Maracaibo, were awakened by a loud humming noise and a vivid, dazzling light, which brilliantly illuminated the interior of the house. The occupants completely terror stricken, and believing, as they relate, that the end of the world had come, threw themselves on their knees and commenced to pray, but their devotions were almost immediately interrupted by violent vomiting, and extensive swellings commenced to appear in the upper part of their bodies, this being particularly noticeable about the face and lips. It is to be noted that the brilliant lights was not accompanied by a sensation of heat, although there was a smoky appearance and a peculiar smell. The next morning, the swellings had subsided, leaving upon the face and body large black blotches. No trace of lightning could afterward by observed in any part of the building, and all the sufferers unite in saying that there was no detonation, but only the loud humming already mentioned. Another curious attendant circumstance is that the trees around the house showed no signs of injury until the ninth day, when they suddenly withered. From Warner Cowgill, U. S. Consulate, Maracaibo, Venezuela in a letter posted in Scientific American, Dec 18.
1887 Nova Scotia, Cape Race: From L’Astronomie, “On November 12, 1887, at midnight, near, a huge ball of fire appeared, slowly emerging from the ocean to an altitude of sixteen to seventeen meters. This sphere started moving against the wind and stopped close to the ship from which it was observed. Then it rushed away in the sky and disappeared in the southeast. The whole observation had lasted five minutes.”
1888 Italy, Ragusa: From the ‘Memoirs’ of the Minor Brothers, “Luminous bodies were seen flying through the sky in lines for one hour.”
1891 USA, Indiana, Crawfordsville: As reported in the Brooklyn Eagle newspaper on September 10, 1891, two icemen were working outside in Crawfordsville at about 2:00am five nights previously, when a bizarre object sailed overhead. The icemen described the UFO as a ‘seemingly headless monster’, although there is no reason to believe that it was an animal of any kind. It was about 20ft long, and 8ft wide, moving in the sky toward the two men, and ‘seemingly propelled by fin like attachments.’ The men moved, and the UFO flew off. The noise awoke Methodist pastor G.W. Swittze, who saw it circling in the sky.
• Netherlands: An astronomer called Muller was observing the moon through his telescope when a black disk moved across his field of view.
• Poland: A phantom airship scare began appearing. As in later ‘flaps’ of this sort, the craft often appeared at night and were usually equipped with powerful searchlights.
1893 China, North China Sea: The ship, H.M.S. Carolina was sailing in the North China Sea, when a report from an officer of unusual light activity in the sky came to the attention of Captain J.N. Norcross. The officer told Captain Norcross that the lights appeared sometimes in a huge mass, others spread out in unusual patterns. He said that they resembled Chinese lanterns set between the masts of a ship. The next night these strange lights reappeared but with a reddish glow and emanating small amounts of smoke.
1895 England, Oxford: A disk was seen rising above some trees and disappearing into the east
• USA, California, Sacramento: On November 25, a mysterious light was seen moving rapidly from the Northeast and heading in a southwesterly direction. As it neared the southern boundary of the city of Sacramento it turned directly toward the west and after passing the city went south, being distinctly visible for upward of 20 minutes.
• USA, California, Lorin: On November 26, an airship that looked like a great black cigar with a fishlike tail neared Lorin tremendous speed. It turned quickly and disappeared in the direction of San Francisco. The body was at least 100 feet long and attached to it was a triangular tail, one apex being attached to the main body. The surface of the airship looked as if it were made of aluminum, which exposure to wind and weather had turned dark. At half past 8 we saw it again, when it took about the same direction and disappeared.” From the Oakland Tribune, Dec 1.
• USA, California, San Francisco: The great Airship Flap of 1897 actually started in late 1896 in San Francisco. Hundreds saw a large, cigar-shaped object, shining brilliant beams of light, and moving northwest passing over Oakland. Later reports came from other northern
• USA, California, San Francisco: A light was observed by many prominent individuals including Deputy Secretary of State George A. McCalvy, District Attorney Frank D. Ryan, and E. D. McCabe, the governor’s personal secretary. From the San Francisco Call, Nov 26.
• Switzerland, Arolla: Author Aleister Crowley was walking in the mountains when he suddenly saw two little men. He made a gesture to them, but they did not seem to pay attention and disappeared among the rocks.