Go Back Report # 1460





Prof. Leon M. Thompson, Bath, Has Thrilling Experience


     “Believe it or not” but a most peculiar phenomenon is reported by Prof. Leon M. Thompson of Bath who is spending the summer at his cottage at Grove Springs, Lake Keuka. What is believed to have been a huge meteor was observed by him as it spectacularly circled the sky above the lake at dawn on Thursday and plunged into the water near the Shoemaker cottage at Grove Springs.

     Professor Thompson states he was trolling in a boat near the center of the lake off Grove Springs and as the first rays of the sun penetrated the darkness, his attention was attracted by a peculiar cloud formation which hung over what is known as White Woman Glen south of the Urbana Wine Company’s property on the west side of the lake. He states the clouds appeared in the form of an elongated cone from 60 to 75 feet in length. The larger end of the cone appeared to him as from 10 to 15 feet in diameter.

     As he sat dipping his ores, the boat directed northward on the lake, the cloud formation was directly in his line of vision.

     He was suddenly startled when the sky lighted as though by a lightning flash. There was no zigzag electrical chain, but a flash as though by heat lightning.

     At the same moment there issued from the larger end of the cloud what appeared to be a ball of fire which arched the sky from the west to the east side of the lake. This ball appeared to be a foot or more in diameter, traveled rapidly and left in its wake a fiery train.

     The ball of fire descended and struck the water near the Shoemaker cottage throwing up a cloud of mist or steam. The fiery train in the sky abided several moments ere it gradually faded.

     When next Prof. Thompson looked towards the peculiar cloud he saw it dissipated and drifting away as smoke.

     Efforts to locate what might have been a meteor at the spot where the object struck the water have proven futile for the reason that in the semi-darkness and from a distance of more than a quarter of a mile Prof. Thompson is unable to locate the exact spot in the lake..


Reference for the above text is:Steuben Farmers’ Advocate, Bath, New York, Date: Aug. 10 [Friday], 1934.

My thanks to November 29, 2011, and to researcher Kay Massingill for finding it.

With great thanks to Twila O’Dell, County Historian, Steuben County Office Building, Bath, NY, for providing the entire text, of which we were missing parts.




North America – New York, Steuben

Grove Springs   Latitude 42-28-16 N, Longitude 077-09-22 W (D-M-S) [populated place]

Lake Keuka        Latitude 42-31-10 N, Longitude 077-06-33-00 W [lake]

White Woman Glen   Unable to find coordinates for this place-CF-

Reference: http://geonames.usgs.gov/pls/gnispublic/f?p=154:1:1765846258792399



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