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Famous Chinese medieval scientist Shen Kuo and the 'Pearl' UFO

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posted on Jun, 16 2016 @ 12:54 AM
It is rare these day to find UFO sightings which have not been dissected to death. Indeed, one must go back in time, and mine through historical documents. In order to try and avoid the quagmire of political posts on ATS I have gone back to what first interested me about ATS, UFO topics.

Today I stumbled across the interesting case of Shen Kuo, a scientist from medieval China, and the possibility that he saw something otherworldly.

According to Wikipedia:

Shen Kuo (Chinese: 沈括; 1031–1095), courtesy name Cunzhong (存中) and pseudonym Mengqi (now usually given as Mengxi) Weng (夢溪翁),was a Han Chinese polymathic scientist and statesman of the Song dynasty (960–1279). Excelling in many fields of study and statecraft, he was a mathematician, astronomer, meteorologist, geologist, zoologist, botanist, pharmacologist, agronomist, archaeologist, ethnographer, cartographer, encyclopedist, general, diplomat, hydraulic engineer, inventor, academy chancellor, finance minister, governmental state inspector, poet, and musician. He was the head official for the Bureau of Astronomy in the Song court, as well as an Assistant Minister of Imperial Hospitality

While secluded in isolation on his garden estate, Shen Kuo wrote an extensive book called The Dream Pool Essays. One of the chapters in this book is cited as evidence for a potential UFO sighting.

From the openminds website;

It seems openminds is not permitted to be linked to from ATS, but by typing Shen Kuo, UFO, it can be found very easily.

Shen Kuo (1031–1095), a Song Chinese government scholar-official and prolific polymath inventor and scholar, wrote a vivid passage in his Dream Pool Essays (1088) about an unidentified flying object. He recorded the testimony of eyewitnesses in 11th century Anhui and Jiangsu (especially in the city of Yangzhou ), who stated that a flying object with opening doors would emit a blinding light from its interior (from an object shaped like a pearl) that would cast shadows from trees for ten miles in radius, and was able to take off at tremendous speeds.

So what is the possibility that the testimony of the eyewitnesses was accurate or not? The problem with translating a text is just that, the translation, something explored here;

Dong is supposedly textually dependent on Zhang, while I am not aware of the origin of the text used by Shi Bo. There are some striking differences. Let’s start with the Zhang-Dong version, as translated in Dong:

In the years of Emporer [sic] Jiayou (1056-1064), a UFO as bright as a pearl often made its appearance over the prospering city of Yangzhou of Jiangsu Province, particularly at night. At first the object was seen on a lake in Tienzhang County in eastern Anhui and later on the Pishe Lake northwest of Gaoyou County in Jiansu. Subsequently it was often seen by the local inhabitants near the Xingkai Lake. One night, a man living by the lakeside found a shining pearl close by while studying outdoors. The object opened its door and a flood of intense light like sunbeams darted out of it, then the outer shell opened up, appearing as large as a bed with a big pearl the size of a fist illuminating an interior silvery white. The intense silver-white light, shot from the interior, was too strong for human eyes to behold; it cast shadows of every tree within a radius of ten miles. The spectacle was like the rising sun, lighting up the distant sky and woods in red. Then all of a sudden, the object took off at a tremendous speed and descended upon the lake like the sun setting. It goes on to say that a poet witnessed the “moonlike pearl,” and that it became a tourist attraction when it would randomly appear and disappear now and again.

This is a longer account of what was discussed at the openminds website.

Jason Colavito goes on to say;

“In the middle of the reign of emperor Jia You [1056-1063], at Yangzhou, in the Jiangsu province, an enormous pearl was seen especially in gloomy weather. At first it appeared in the marsh of the Tianchang district, passed by the lake of Bishe and disappeared finally in the Xinkai lake. The inhabitants of that region and travelers saw it frequently over a period of ten years. I have a friend who lives on the edge of the lake. One evening, he looked through the window and saw the luminous pearl near his house. He half-opened his door and the light entered, illuminating the room with its brightness. The pearl was round, with a gold-colored ring around it. Suddenly, it enlarged considerably and became bigger than a table. In its centre, the luminary was white and silvery, and the intensity was such that it could not be looked at straight on.” [Vallée begins writing here:] The light it emitted even reached trees that were some 5 kilometers away and as a result these cast their shadow on the ground; the faraway sky was all alight. Finally, the round luminous object began to move at a breathtaking speed and landed on the water between the waves, like a rising sun.

And yet another translation goes on to state;

During the reign of Jiayou [1056-1064], in the city of Yangzhou there was a big pearl that came out often on rainy days. It was first seen in pools in Jianchang County, and then in Pishe Lake, and then in the Newly Opened Lake. It was often seen by both locals and travelers. One night, in his study by the lake, a friend of mine saw a big pearl. At first, it opened its shell slightly, and some reflecting light shown like gold. Then, the oyster, half as big as a mat, opened wide, revealing a pearl the size of a palm, glittering inside the shell. The dazzling light, brilliant as the rising sun, cast the shadows of trees several miles away and lit the sky as if by wildfire. Suddenly, it flew far away and then floated quietly like the moon in water.

Colavito goes on to say that the story is much more a folktale about a giant oyster and its magic pearl rather than a spaceship of any kind. There is nothing in this translation about the pearl changing sizes, and the translation states that the light was not silver-white.

Unfortunately it is a small chapter. It would be of use if there were any Chinese speakers on ATS who could give us a better interpretation, but as it stands, this is still an interesting folktale.

Could it in fact be ball lightning, or something else unexplained?

edit on 16-6-2016 by cuckooold because: (no reason given)

posted on Jun, 16 2016 @ 12:54 AM
Of interest, the openminds website discussed a possible abduction experience also written by Shen Kuo.

It seems openminds is not permitted to be linked to from ATS, but by typing Shen Kuo, UFO, it can be found very easily.

The old custom establishes that gods must be received in the month of January on the lunar calendar. Yet the goddess called Zigu can be received at any time… Under the reign of Jinyou [in the years between 1034-1036] a scholar from Taichang named Wang Lun saw (goddess) Zigu flying down into his daughter’s bedroom. This goddess knew how to write and was very pretty. A cloud floated under her feet, and she moved fast without effort. Zigu asked Wang Lun’s daughter: ‘Do you want to travel with me?’ She agreed with a sign from the head. At once clouds formed in the courtyard and the girl was lifted, but the clouds could not carry her. Zigu said at once: ‘There is dust on your shoes, take them off before coming up.’ The girl did as she was told and she rose in the clouds that lifted her to the sky.

I am personally hesitant to ascribe this meaning to the text, but in light of there being so little information about this case, one can only really engage in speculation.

A very interesting case.

edit on 16-6-2016 by cuckooold because: (no reason given)

edit on 16-6-2016 by cuckooold because: (no reason given)

posted on Jun, 16 2016 @ 01:09 AM
a reply to: cuckooold

Never heard of the guy but man, absolutely fascinating story.

I'm surprised he is not much better known considering how brilliant a mind he obviously had.

Thanks, S&F.

Kind Regards

posted on Jun, 16 2016 @ 01:57 PM
Hello again my friend.

This is indeed a welcome break from everything political. I rarely take part in the political discussions to be honest so this post takes us back to the core of ATS.

It seems that this 'phenomenon' was observed on and off for years. Could it have been something similar to the Hessdalen Lights I wonder?

posted on Jun, 16 2016 @ 07:28 PM
a reply to: cuckooold

Beautiful, the Pearl.

What they was witnessing was one of the 3 energy balls that form the triangle, these energies that float around the world are alive and intelligent and has been around for millions of years. This was not a ship or a vessel of any kind…vessel no!

If they described them as pearls than it was a good choice, next time or any time you look up the flying triangle look at the images closely, you will see why they could possibly call the energies pearls.

posted on Jun, 16 2016 @ 07:37 PM
a reply to: cuckooold

Changing shape and casting intense light. I am sure there is a logical reason for this, I am sure.

It certainly rings bells with modern sightings, not least the Rendelsham Forest incident, which I think Mirageman would have noted.

Thanks for the old UFO story.

posted on Jun, 16 2016 @ 09:12 PM
Quite intriguing, 1st time I heard of this.One thing for sure this goes up there with the high strangeness encounters.

posted on Jun, 16 2016 @ 10:02 PM
a reply to: mirageman

Hi MM, it wouldn't surprise me if it was some type of 'Earth lights' phenomena, although exactly what it is is unknown. I saw a will-o'-the-wisp a number of years back, and that certainly was strange.

I've been following your Rendlesham thread, you've uncovered some good stuff there.

I've been trying to write a thread about Colares, which I consider to be one of the few remaining undebunked cases. Hopefully soon, as I've made a number of aborted attempts, but it's a tricky one.

Thanks for the kind words.
edit on 16-6-2016 by cuckooold because: (no reason given)

posted on Jun, 17 2016 @ 12:36 AM
OH man, I love old and older UFO encounters. There's just something about it....Imagine your ancestors trying to describe things that they don't have words for. I had never heard of this one either. Thanks for bringing it to my attention.

posted on Jun, 20 2016 @ 03:18 PM
As accurate as old accounts can be, these are extremely interesting to read!

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