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UFO sightings in the 19th century

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posted on Dec, 12 2011 @ 11:54 AM
I'm not sure if this was already posted here or not. Sorry if it was.

These links talk about UFO sightings in the 19th century:

It's interesting because the 19th century was a time when daily newspapers already existed in many parts of the world.

The recent digitalization of 19th century newspapers is helping researchers to find accounts of UFO sightings.

Some excerpts:

Paijmans points out that as early as 1858, one journalist asked his readers “Do the Inhabitants of other Planets ever Visit this Earth?”; then matter of factly recounted what may be one of the earliest 19th century ‘Close Encounters of the Third Kind’ (CE-III) on record. One Henry Wallace had reported that on a clear day, a shadow was suddenly thrown over he and his friends, and when they looked up to see what had caused the anomaly they "beheld a large and curiously constructed vessel, not over one hundred yards from the earth." They could make out a large number of 'people' on the vessel, whose average height they estimated to be around twelve feet. Wallace described the strange craft as being "worked by wheels and other mechanical appendages, all of which worked with a precision and a degree of beauty never yet attained by any mechanical skill upon this planet..."

An even earlier report of strange phenomena in the sky came from a resident of Athens, Georgia, in 1849: “Mr. Editor, are you or your readers aware that a strange phenomenon is to be seen every night about half past ten, in the south?", the citizen wrote to his local newspaper. "It seems at first sight to be simply a star of reddish appearance – But look a moment, and you will see it blazing up, and then the light dying away. It is constantly moving, sometimes in an upward direction, and sometimes in a circle. It moves westward, and is seen for several hours. What is it?"

In the 19th century there were no airplanes, no sattelites, no "weather ballons"...

posted on Dec, 12 2011 @ 12:02 PM
I think that the fact that there were daily newspapers in many parts of the world in the 19th century represents a huge source for research.

Only recently those newspapers started to be digitalized and put on the internet by Google.

Much more research about the UFO subject needs to be done in those newspapers...

posted on Dec, 12 2011 @ 12:39 PM
Just in case, please don't forget that the 19th century is that period 1801 - 1899.

Nothing to do with years starting with 19...

posted on Dec, 12 2011 @ 12:56 PM
Actually, we have had air balloons since the 1780's and airships since the 1850's..

posted on Dec, 12 2011 @ 04:06 PM
Good find, please post more if you find any.

posted on Dec, 12 2011 @ 11:27 PM
reply to post by GLontra

I've said this several times on ATS and in a couple of UFO articles to various places. The latter part of the 19th century and the early part of the 20th century (1880-1915) was generally the time of "Yellow Journalism." Basically, much of newspaper articles not dealing with local news was manufactured from whole cloth. That means it was pure fiction. The famous author Samual Clements AKA Mark Twain got his start in the gold fields of Colorado writing wild stories to help sell newspapers. "Yellow Journalism" meant that the so-called "news" was tinged with more than a trifle of untruths.

You can read modern stories of how the mysterious craft, some shaped like balloons, some like ocean-going ships and even some with big driving wheels like steam locomotives were seen around the US. This contagion of fake new spread to Europe and eventually even to Australia. The speed of the various sightings around the US and world speaks more about the speed of the telegraph in those days more than it does about the fleeting ships reported.

That said, I do believe that the spark for these stories was, indeed, actual UFO sightings. There were many reports of astronomers in those days that must be taken seriously. An observer of the Royal Observatory of England, E.W. Maunder, wrote of a fascinating personal account he had in 1882. Yet the so-called "Condon Report" (on which the young Carl Sagan worked) deemed it a natural phenomenon.

I have personally examined the newspaper archieves of the University of Illinois for these old stories. Most of the colorful ones we hear about today are false. Two come to mind: a Kansas account where a UFO attempted to take up a heifer and got into trouble when the calf got caught in a fence, and the more notorious story about the UFO that smashed into Judge Proctor's windmill in south Texas and the pilot's remains buried in the local cemetary.

UFOs are real enough, but not all of the stories of yesteryear or yesterday.

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