1897: ARKANSAS DEPUTIES MEET SOME ALIENS
One of the strangest close encounters of the "airship era" took place 101 years ago, on May 6, 1897, near Blue Ouachita Mountain, just northwest of Hot Springs, Arkansas.
Constable John J. Sumpter Jr. and Deputy Sheriff John McLemore of Garland County left Hot Springs on horseback to investigate reports of cattle rustling. They rode north on what is now Highway 7 to Jessieville. Here is their story in their own words:
"While riding northwest from this city (Hot Springs) on the night of May 6, 1897, we noticed a brilliant light high in the heavens. Suddenly it disappeared and we said nothing about it, as we were looking for parties (suspects--J.T.) and did not want to make any noise."
'Marine phosphorescent wheels' come in many appearances, often together with 'luminous parallel bands' or 'luminous rotating spokes'. Sometimes one, sometimes multiple wheels, rotating clockwise or counter clockwise, with a diameter between 3 and 200 metres, sometimes virtually stretching out to the horizon. At times the spectacle appeared to be under water, sometimes it seemed to be above the surface. Also in this context, 'under water rising and at the surface exploding balls of light' and 'submarine light rays' were observed sometimes together with the 'wheels'. Altogether, a wide-ranging, but very intriguing phenomenon.
There are other unusual patterns of light that appear at sea such as Auroral Pillars, and phosphorescent seas. Berlitz (1975), mentioned that, “glowing streaks of ‘white water’ in the Gulf Stream” were witnessed by Columbus (p 16). However, while Berlitz described these as a “baffling mystery” as Corliss (1982) points out, they are a quite natural phenomenon. The result of bacterial or phytoplankton phosphorescence on the surface of the water, they can often appear as bars of light or moving wheel-shaped patterns. Fort (1973) mentioned an example of these. Huge luminous wheel shapes appeared on both sides of the steam ship Patna in 1880. With the spokes of these wheels, some 180 to 275 metres long (200 to 300 yards), they were observed to whirl around, brushing the sides of the ship, and in that position continued alongside the ship for about twenty minutes
Originally posted by virraszto
This happened in 1897 in Kansas.
comes up against some unhappy realities: newspaper coverage was unreliable; no independent investigators ('airshipologists') spoke directly with alleged witnesses or attempted to verify or debunk their testimony; and, with a single unsatisfactory exception, no eyewitness was ever interviewed even in the 1950’s, when some were presumably still living."