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A Blast from the Past

Author : Patricia McDougall ©

Where in the past do we begin? Where were the first UFO sightings recorded? Were cave drawings found across the world drawn thousands of years ago the beginning? Or were we visited even earlier in civilisations lost to us through time? What of the anomalous evidence discovered from millions of years ago – a shoe print in Nevada (USA) dating from the Triassic period 213-248 million years ago; a gold chain found in Illinois (USA) from the Carboniferous period 260-320 million years ago; a metal vase; a metal vase from the Precambrian era 600 million years ago. These are only a few of the anomalous objects so far discovered, and should we ask ourselves to whom did these objects belong? To our long forgotten ancestors, and if so, then where did we come from and how long has mankind existed on this planet? Or did these artefacts belong to alien visitors to Earth? Could we have been visited that far back in our past? Could we be a mixture of genes from beings from other worlds? Who can answer these questions? Do any human agencies, government or otherwise, dealing with UFO’s anywhere in this world have the answers? And will we ever find out?

Some of these issues have become a little clearer since investigation began in recent times, and although we may never discover all the answers in our day, or even very few, just maybe our grandchildren, or great grandchildren might, if we can keep investigating these enigmas as our society matures and its level of technology increases – and perhaps with a little bit of luck along the way future generations may indeed find the answers to these questions.

We find some amazing events recorded in early history: Thutmosis’ sighting of a circular craft that was recorded around 1500BC by an ancient Egyptian scribe and described as a ‘fire-circle’ that ‘has no voice’. The Romans described UFO’s as ‘flying shields’, and one of the stained glass panels of the Sainte Chapelle near Notre Dame in France portrays the prophet Ezekial’s abduction. Ezekial saw ‘wheels within wheels and four strange creatures’. He was carried away to a remote mountain top where he found himself in a state of wonder and confusion.

In Japan’s early history, around 3000BC in the Jomon era, earthenware statues were made – statues with large chests, arc-shaped legs, short arms and large heads wearing helmets that covered the whole head, and in the latter part of that era, statues with huge eyes that had a horizontal slit in them were depicted.

From religious literature across the globe we find descriptions of flying objects and strange events. Folklore abounds with these stories, and to gather all of them would be an impossible task. These accounts leave no doubt at all that at least one question has been answered – ‘they’ have indeed been here from the beginning, or at least the beginning of human kind.

Here are but a few of more than over 300 sightings documented before and around 1900AD:

At St Albans in Hertfordshire (UK), monks recorded a kind of ship on the night of January 1 1254, and in 1290 the abbot and monks of Byland Abbey in Yorkshire (UK) noted a ‘large round silver disc’ flying over them. A spectacular display was recorded on August 7 1566 at Basle (Switzerland). Giant glowing discs covered the sky and were witnessed by amazed locals. Sir Edmund Halley, the British astronomer after whom Halley’s comet is named, reported in March 1716 a brightly-lit object over London for two hours. On December 11, 1741, Lord Beauchamp claimed he watched a small oval ball of fire falling over London about 750 yards up that levelled off suddenly and zoomed eastward. On March 19 1748, Sir Hans Sloan, later president of the Royal Society, saw a dazzling blue-white light with a reddish-yellow tail dropping through the evening sky, moving more slowly than a falling star and in a direct line. On September 7 1820, saucer-shaped objects were seen flying over the French town of Ebrum. Witnesses reported that they changed direction, performing a perfect 90-degree turn without breaking their formation. In 1882 astronomer William Maunday saw a huge disc moving quickly in the northeast from London’s Greenwich Royal Observatory. It passed the moon, he said, then changed into a cigar shape.

In September 1768, the German poet Goethe, then 16 years of age, was travelling to the University of Leipzig by coach with two other passengers. It was raining, and the coach sometimes had trouble moving uphill. When the passengers had to leave their seats and walk behind, Goethe 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 and vice versa, and in every direction. The greater part 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 willow-the-wisps, or a company of luminous creatures, I will not decide.

Robert Loosely, an undertaker from Birminghamshire (UK) saw an object like a sat move across the sky and touch down I nearby woods on October 4 1871. His story, briefly, is very strange…

The next morning (after sighting the object), Loosley decided to investigate the area, and while poking around with his walking stick struck something metallic. He uncovered a strange metal container 18 inches high and with what looked like an eye covered with a glass lens appearing on the side. Seconds later another appeared, which sent out a beam of dazzling light purple in colour, then a third opening shot out a thin rod a little thicker than a pencil. As he moved away it started to follow him, leaving a trail of three small ruts. He then came to another clearing and saw the entire surface was covered with similar ruts. The metal box stopped and a claw shot out. The purple light shone on a dead rat, then the rod sprayed liquid on the body and the rat was pushed inside a panel that opened on the side of the box. Loosley dropped his walking stick at that point, and that was gathered up by the box as well. The box then followed Loosley to another clearing again, and tried to herd him into a bigger metal box that was there. Being close to panic he looked up and saw a strange moon-like globe in the sky, which seemed to be signalling with lights. Before he could work out the sequence it vanished. He was unable to sleep that night, and as he looked out his window saw a light ascend upwards. He then jotted down his story and locked it away in his desk. He died in 1893 and the manuscript was found by his great grand-daughter nearly 100 years later. David Langford, a science fiction writer, has studied the manuscript and written a book about it. ‘The manuscript has withstood every test of authenticity, the man’s death rules out fabrication. He died in 1893 and could not have described the scientific concepts in his tale’.

In America, on January 22 1878, Texas rancher John Martin reported an object coming down from the sun about the size of a large saucer. In April 1897, more than 10,000 people reported an airship over Kansas city. Charles Fort reported a large luminous craft over Niagra Falls in 1833. Alexander Hamilton, a member of the House of Representatives in the United States, made a sword statement regarding a 300-foot cigar shaped craft occupied by six strange beings that landed near his farm on April 21, 1897.

Both Britain and New Zealand reported UFO’s in 1909. In more than forty towns across Britain strange shapes and lights in the sky were reported. At Caerphilly, Wales, a man met two curious figures in fur coats on May 13. ‘They spoke in excited voices when they saw me then rushed back to a large cylindrical object which lifted off the ground and disappeared’. Cigar shaped objects were reported by hundreds of people over both North and South Islands of New Zealand over a period from July to February 1909. There were also many reports from Canada in February of 1913 of UFO’s over Ontario on six separate days.

Russia, like the rest of the world, has had drawings and sculptures found from thousands of years ago. Manuscripts reveal flying apparatuses, fiery pillars in the sky, strange circular UFO’s and early abduction experiences and reports of humanoid-like beings. Recent declassified documents of the Russian Ministry of the Interior dating back to the beginning of the 19th century inform of UFO sightings from all over the land.

Moving now to more modern times, probably the first air sighting of a UFO was made by Francis Chichester, who later became famous as a round-the-world yachtsman. He reported being followed in 1931 when he was flying a plane from Australia to New Zealand. The disc was a dull grey-white colour with brightly flashing lights. It followed him for some miles across the Tasman Sea, occasionally vanishing behind clouds before accelerating out of sight.

Strange flying objects were reported during World War II, the Allies christening them ‘foo fighters’, which was derived from a popular comic-strip catch-phrase, ‘where there’s foo, there’s fire’. These objects were like mysterious silvery balls that floated in the air. The Soviet military noted their presence over Poland in 1940 and 1944. Other sightings reported included August 26, 1943, at the site of a crucial tank battle with the Germans at the Kursk Bulge. Pilots from both sides in both the Pacific and European war zone reported similar silvery balls flying alongside them on bombing raids, sometimes in formation.

Kenneth Arnold’s sighing on June 24 1947 of nine crescent-shaped objects marks the beginning of the modern UFO era, and also the beginning of the expression ‘flying saucer’. The term ‘saucer’, however, had been used much earlier to describe UFO’s than we realise. The Japanese described a UFO as an ‘earthenware vessel’ as early as 1180. The Dennyson Daily News in Texas reported on January 25 1878 a sighting by farmer John Martin that ‘when directly over him was about the size of a large saucer and was evidently at great height’. Never the less, the term ‘flying saucer’ has now stuck. Arnold described the craft he saw as moving ‘like a saucer would if you skipped it across the water’, and local newspaperman Bill Becquette, who reported the story for the East Oregonian, coined the term ‘flying saucer’.

Kenneth Arnold was flying his own plane from Chehalis to Washington (USA) on business when he made his sighting. During his travelling time he spent an hour or so searching for a C-46 transport aircraft that had recently crashed near Mt Rainier with 32 men on board. At an altitude of 9,200 feet and above the town of Mineral when he was making a 180 degree turn, a ‘tremendously bright flash lit up the surfaces of my aircraft’. He observed at one minute before 3.00pm a formation of very bright objects coming from the area of Mt Baker. ‘…what startled me most at this point was… that I could not find any tails on them’. Arnold calculated that the nine craft were travelling at over 1,700 miles per hour, and that ‘they didn’t fly like any aircraft I had seen before… they flew in a definite formation but erratically… their flight was like speed boats on rough water or similar to the tail of a Chinese kite that I once saw bowing in the wind… they fluttered and sailed, tipping their wings alternately and emitting those very bright blue-white flashes from their surfaces’. Arnold told his story to an airline manager at Yakima at about 4.00pm before flying on to Pendleton, Oregon. The news travelled ahead of him and a crowd of people, among them Bill Becquette, were there to meet.

The rest, as they say, is history….


Vallee, Jaques, Dimensions, Souvenir Press Ltd Boar,
Roger & Blundell, Nigel, The Worlds Greatest UFO Mysteries, Octopus Books Ltd
Spencer, John (Ed), The UFO Encyclopedia, Avon Books
UFO – The Government Files, Brown Books

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