It looks like you're using an Ad Blocker.
Please white-list or disable AboveTopSecret.com in your ad-blocking tool.
Some features of ATS will be disabled while you continue to use an ad-blocker.
What a stud
I'm not seeing anything in his description that suggests the thing he saw was flying. Did I miss something?
jeep3r Sceptics have pointed to fireflies & swampgas which, according to them, could be a possible explanation.
Fireflies caught up in a whirlwind, perhaps? That at least fits with the darting about behavior of some of the lights. He says there were countless lights. Fireflies apparently do sometimes swarm.
He didn't mention any circular motion of the lights which, it seems, should have been visible. He seems an acute and careful observer, odd, then, that this detail would have been omitted, if it were present.
The most puzzling aspect is that all this happened in the 18th century. What source of light in the year 1765 could have enough power to blind the observer? That should rule out fireflies, IMO he and others should/would have recognized them.
Then there's the specific shape, which is being described as that of an amphitheatre, suggesting that it was a circular formation with different levels (that were apparently 'stacked' on top of one another). Perhaps he interpreted it as a natural phenomenon due to a lack of other explanations (while being well aware of things coming close, like lightning or ball-lightning)?
... unfortunately, no further details are available but the classic 'UFO profile' could apply to this case, as far as I'm concerned.
It was with great reluctance that I moved on [called back by the others], for it was my desire to investigate it more closely.
This is really good stuff, OP.
It seems obvious to me from Goethe's retelling of the story that he was the only one in the group that he was in that saw this "phenomenon".
Rogers stopped the truck and Walton leaped out and ran toward the disc. The others said they shouted at Walton to come back but he continued toward the disc.
After another reading I see that it can't be known from Goethe's description whether his friends saw it or not. Seems to me he would have mentioned it so as far as my opinion is concerned they did not.
The Hanau-Seligenstadt Basin is a Cenozoic graben. As a subbasin of the Upper Rhine Graben it belongs to the European Cenozoic Rift System, a fracture zone crossing Europe from the North Sea to the Mediterranean.
The Hanau-Seligenstadt Basin is separated from the Upper Rhine Graben to the west by a horst block. The Spessart mountains form its eastern margin. To the south it is bounded by the Odenwald mountains. Towards the north the graben margins converge. The basin sediments rest on top of the Variscan basement and Permian to Triassic rocks. Oligocene to Quaternary basin sediments reach more than 280 m in thickness. Marine, limnic and finally terrestrial clays, marls, limestones and sands with interbedded basalt layers dominate within the Oligocene and Miocene. The Pliocene and Quaternary river deposits consist of sand, gravel and silt, in Pliocene also lignite. The recent landscape is formed by river terraces.
Lignite has a high content of volatile matter which makes it easier to convert into gas and liquid petroleum products than higher ranking coals. Unfortunately its high moisture content and susceptibility to spontaneous combustion can cause problems in transportation and storage. It is now known that efficient processes that remove latent moisture locked within the structure of brown coal will relegate the risk of spontaneous combustion to the same level as black coal, will transform the calorific value of brown coal to a black coal equivalent fuel while significantly reducing the emissions profile of 'densified' brown coal to a level similar to or better than most black coals.
It's possible that it could have been a natural phenomenon and if his friends were 'locals' perhaps it was a common-place occurence to them.
A will-o'-the-wisp /ˌwɪl ə ðə ˈwɪsp/ or ignis fatuus (/ˌɪɡnɨs ˈfætʃuːəs/; Medieval Latin: "foolish fire") are atmospheric ghost lights seen by travellers at night, especially over bogs, swamps or marshes. It resembles a flickering lamp and is said to recede if approached, drawing travellers from the safe paths. The phenomenon is known by a variety of names, including jack-o'-lantern, friars's lantern, hinkypunk, and hobby lantern in English folk belief, well attested in English folklore and in much of European folklore.
reply to post by AntiNWO
ETA: After another reading I see that it can't be known from Goethe's description whether his friends saw it or not. Seems to me he would have mentioned it so as far as my opinion is concerned they did not.edit on 16-3-2014 by Bybyots because: .
Versuch die Metamorphose der Pflanzen zu erklären, known in English as Metamorphosis of Plants, was published by German poet and philosopher Johann Wolfgang von Goethe in 1790. In this work, Goethe essentially discovered the (serially) homologous nature of leaf organs in plants, from cotyledons, to photosynthetic leaves, to the petals of a flower. Although Richard Owen, the powerful British vertebrate anatomist (and staunch opponent of Charles Darwin), is generally credited with first articulating a definition of the word “homology” (in 1843), it is clear that Goethe had already arrived at a sophisticated view of homology and transformation (within an idealist morphological perspective) more than fifty years earlier.
Some sources say this event had already been referenced by Jaques Vallée in the late 1960s, although I wasn't able to locate any websites or texts linking to this incident.
...in September 1768, a young man of sixteen was traveling to the University of Leipzig with two passengers from Frankfurt. It rained most of the journey, and the coach sometimes had trouble moving uphill. On one occasion when the passengers had left their seats to walk behind the horses, the young man noticed a strange luminous object at ground level:
"All at once, in a ravine on the right-hand side of the way, I saw a sort of amphitheatre, wonderfully illuminated. In a funnel-shaped space there were innumerable little lights gleaming, ranged step-fashion over one another; and they shone so brilliantly that the eye was dazzled. But what still more confused the sight was that they did not keep still, but jumped about here and there, as well downwards from above as vice versa, and in every direction.
The greater of them, however, remained stationary, and beamed on. It was only with the greatest reluctance that I suffered myself to be called away from the spectacle, which I could have wished to examine more closely.... Now whether this was a pandemonium of will-o'-the-wisps, or a company of luminous creatures I will not decide."
The young man in question was Goethe. You will find this sighting in the sixth book of his autobiography, according to movie director and occult scholar Kenneth Anger, to whom I am indebted for this very interesting discovery. Would the German poet and scientist have had occasion to learn more about the "luminous creatures" had he lived in the twentieth century? If Paracelsus came back, would he find new material for his theories on the nature of the strange and fugitive races of beings from the sky? We can safely assume that their attention would be immediately attracted to the modern files of UFO landings and abduction reports.
-Dr. Jacques Vallee. Dimensions: A Casebook of Alien Contact
I am especially interested in Vallee's question about Paracelsus and how data available today might change what Paracelsus thought. I started thinking about that when the Freidman AMA came up. I mean no offense, the guy is 80, but it seems that at some point Freidman stopped learning and continued to write from his limited perspective.
In his 16th century alchemical work Liber de Nymphis, sylphis, pygmaeis et salamandris et de caeteris spiritibus, Paracelsus identified mythological beings as belonging to one of the four elements. This book was first printed in 1566 after Paracelsus' death and may be pseudepigraphical. He wrote the book to "describe the creatures that are outside the cognizance of the light of nature, how they are to be understood, what marvellous works God has created". He states that there is more bliss in describing these "divine objects" than in describing fencing, court etiquette, cavalry, and other worldly pursuits. The following is his archetypal spirit for each of the four elements:
Gnome, spirit of earth
Undine, spirit of water
Sylph, spirit of wind (also known as spirit of air)
Salamander, spirit of fire