Saturday, April 2, 2011

Unidentified flying objects in Adamstown?

From the Reading Eagle, August 14, 1869:
SINGULAR PHENOMENON. - A most singular phenomenon occurred at mid-day on Saturday last, near the village of Adamstown, Lancaster county. About two hundred yards north of the village is an open lot, and at 12 o'clock, while the villagers were taking to dinner, a luminous body was seen to settle near the centre of this lot. It is represented by four or five different parties, who witnessed it from several points, to have assumed a square shape and shooting up into a column about three or four feet in height and about two feet in thickness.

The sun was shining brightly at the time, and under its rays the object glistened like a column of burnished silver. The presence, after reaching its full effulgence gradually faded away, and in ten minutes time it had entirely disappeared. Those who saw it were unable to tell what it was. It seemed to inspire terror rather than admiration. After it had disappeared a number of persons visited the spot, but not a trace of anything unusual could be found.

Similar objects have been seen in the neighborhood on several occasions during the night time, but none before in the day time, or so bright as this. The land in the immediate vicinity is dry, there being no swamp about, otherwise the phenomenon might be accounted for. We do not know whether the Jack o' Lantern assumes such huge proportions or whether it appears in midday under a bright sun. Perhaps some of our friends versed in the sciences can solve the mystery.
You'd be hard-pressed to find a newspaper article using the word effulgence today. And even in 1869 they were bandying the swamp gas theory about!

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