Go Back Report # 1215



1830s? An instance of this is given by a Mr. Edwards, as having been seen by him when crossing Loch Scavig in a boat at night. In this instance, a light swept rapidly over the face of the water, resembling the light in a cabin window, but moving with great rapidity. It passed near the boat, and caused much consternation among the boatmen, who viewed it as something supernatural; but it was soon out of sight, following a curved course.


Reference for the above text is:

Chambers’s Journal of Popular Literature, 1865, page 281. Publisher: W. and R. Chambers, London.

Original reference: E-mail from Kay Massingill to Chris Aubeck and forwarded to Carl Feindt. Received January 01, 2011.




    Loch Scavig appears destined to become celebrated for luminous phenomena. Besides the phosphorescent cloud seen there by General Sabine, my friend Mr. T. K. Edwards tells me of another curious case of a luminous meteor seen in the same locality. It was in the month of September, 1852 or 1853, and the phenomenon was observed about eight o'clock in the evening. He was being rowed by four stout men from Torrin, in the Isle of Skye, to one of the opposite shores. On entering Loch Scavig the boat containing Mr. Edwards, his friend Mr. Raymond, four boatmen, and a guide, steered across the little bay situated on their right, when a light was distinctly seen at a great distance to the seaward. At first it appeared like the light from the cabin window of a steamboat being near to the surface of the water, and moving with great rapidity towards them. The four men at the oars noticed it with evident alarm, and spoke hurriedly to each other in Gaelic. When the guide was asked what they were talking about, he answered, "About yon light; it's no canny thing, neither." The rapidity with which the light moved, and its proximity to the boat after a few seconds had elapsed, fully convinced every one that it belonged to no boat; besides, as the guide remarked, "no bird could fly so quick." It appears that this phenomenon, which I believe to have been globular lightning1, is not unprecedented in the neighbourhood of Loch Scavig; for though the four oarsmen had never witnessed it before, they had heard it spoken of on the land as betokening evil, and were so much afraid of it that they pulled the boat along most lustily. The light curved off and was soon lost to sight, having been in view and indeed very near to the boat, for about two minutes. The next day was extremely sultry.


Reference for the above text is: Phosphorescence: or, The emission of light by minerals, plants, and animalsby Thomas Lamb Phipson, London, 1862, pp. 60-61:



Note #1: Now called “ball lightening”




Europe – United Kingdom, Highland.

Loch Scavig     Latitude 57-09-00 N, Longitude 006-10-00 W (D-M-S) [now Loch Scavaig]

Torrin             Latitude 57-12-00 N, Longitude 006-02-00 W

Isle of Skye     Latitude 57-18-00 N, Longitude 006-15-00 W

Reference: http://geonames.nga.mil/ggmaviewer/



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