Go Back Report # 1310






   Captain Lebman, of the ship Adelheid, noticed during a voyage from Labuan to Singapore, in 3 5' N. and 108 14' E., on March 23, a peculiar white light, such as he had not previously seen during his 26 years of maritime life. He described the occurrence as follows:"The weather was rough and raining, and about half-past 10 p.m. the helmsman hastily called me on deck. On my arrival there I was almost blinded by a milky-white light which shone around. The air was close, and the ship was going about four or five knots an hour. At a distance of about twice the ship's length ahead, and coming from the southeast, there appeared as it were milky-white waves of light. They advanced with great rapidity every moment, and seemed as though they would devour the ship. These waves rolled over the vessel at intervals of two seconds, losing themselves at about twice the ship's length away in the northwest. After a short time they came in an easterly direction, diminishing gradually in size, and towards half-past 11 p.m. they disappeared. These waves of light resembled flakes of snow when driven over the rocks by a strong wind, or when in winter a sort of white mist is blown along the Gulf Stream over the sea. I cannot, however, compare the appearance with any well-known object. A shuddering feeling was experienced at the sight, and the intense light made the eyes ache. During the whole time the sea was illumined, though not vividly. For a quarter of an hour after it was over, flashes of light were perceptible in the water. Captain Ross, who trades between Singapore and Labuan, declares that he has often witnessed similar appearances. It would be interesting to hear the opinions of some others in order to determine the nature of those appearances."


Reference for the above text is: The Argus (Melbourne, Vic.: 1848-1954), Wednesday 18 June 1873, page 2, National Library of Australia, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article5865480

Original Reference: Personal communication (e-mail) from Keith Basterfield to Chris Aubeck and forwarded to me (CF), dated July 09, 2011.




Location Body of water is the South China Sea.

Labuan       Latitude 05-19-00 N, Longitude 115-13-00 E (D-M-S) [Malaysia]

From text:   Latitude 03-05 N,      Longitude 108-14 E (D-M)

Singapore   Latitude 01-22-45 N, Longitude 103-51-28 E (D-M-S) [Singapore]

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

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