Crew Sees Ball of Fire Hit Sea
The schooner Christina arrived at about seven o'clock yesterday morning from Whangarei with a cargo of coal and dropped anchor off the Railway Wharf, where during the afternoon she was berthed to land her cargo.
From the master of the vessel we learn that on Tuesday last, whilst the schooner was working up the Whangarei Harbour, and at about nine p.m., when off Parua Bay, the weather came on very strong with heavy rain and thunder.
Suddenly a loud noise was heard, and before the crew could hardly realise whence the sound proceeded, a large ball of fire was seen to rush past the vessel at about a cable's length off and dash into the water.
The light from the ball, which was about the size of a coal basket, was of such brilliancy as to completely dazzle those on the schooner, and it was not till some time afterwards that they could recover their sight sufficiently to see their way.
As the ball of fire fell into the river, a dense smell of sulphur was noticeable, which proved almost choking to the crew of the Christina, and at the same time great atmospheric disturbances were noticeable.
Reference for the above text is: 100 Years Ago from Herald files, New Zealand Herald, 30 September 1987, Section 1, Page 9. With thanks to NZ researcher Peter Hassall for supplying the text of the newspaper article.
Included with the news text, Peter added his own notes regarding this case from a layout that I had sent for his approval.-CF-:
Notes: Sounds very much like ball lightning, especially considering the stormy conditions.
Tuesday would be the 28th September, 1887, by my calculations. Your latitude and longitude look about right - my map isn't quite that accurate!
UFOCAT PRN None
Southwest Pacific New Zealand. Body of water is the Wairoa River.
Whangarei Latitude 35-48-00 S, Longitude 174-25-00 E (D-M-S) [harbour]
Parua Bay. There are two coordinates given for this:
Parua Bay Latitude 35-47-00 S, Longitude 174-27-00 E [bay]
Parua Bay Latitude 35-01-00 S, Longitude 173-55-00 E [bay]
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