Go Back Report # 16
02-24-1885

02-24-1885  
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GLM-010 [MASS OF FIRE FALLS INTO SEA]           
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Anonymous; Science, 5:242, March 20, 1885. 
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       The following account of unusual phenomena was received March 19, at the Hydrographic Office, Washington, from the branch office in San Francisco. The bark Innerwich, Capt. Waters, has just arrived at Victoria from Yokohama. At midnight of Feb. 24, in latitude 37° north, longitude 170° 15' east, the captain was aroused by the mate, and went on deck to find the sky changing to a fiery red. All at once a large mass of fire appeared over the vessel, completely blinding the spectators; and, as it fell into the sea some fifty yards to leeward, it caused a hissing sound, which was heard above the blast, and made the vessel quiver from stem to stern. Hardly had this disappeared, when a lowering mass of white foam was seen rapidly approaching the vessel. The noise from the advancing volume of water is described as deafening. The bark was struck flat aback; but, before there was time to touch a brace, the sails had filled again, and the roaring white sea had passed ahead. To increase the horror of the situation, another 'vast sheet of flame' ran down the mizzen-mast and poured in myriads of sparks from the rigging. The strange redness of the sky remained for twenty minutes. The master, an old and experienced mariner, declares that the awfulness of the sight was beyond description and considers that the ship had a narrow escape from destruction.       
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       In the above report there is an interesting association between electric discharge phenomena and passage of an admittedly strange meteor.                                                  

This reference: “Strange Phenomena: A Sourcebook Of Unusual Natural Phenomena” by William R. Corliss, ©1974, which contains the original reference from Science 5:242, March 20, 1885.           
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ALSO (gives the location of Victoria of which there are several, and time of the sighting)
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Strange Phenomenon at Sea.           
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       The bark Innerwick (sic), during a voyage from Yokohama to Victoria, B. C., had a terrible experience, the report of which excited much discussion in shipping circles. About five o'clock in the morning, when the vessel was in latitude 37, longitude 70.501, the sky suddenly changed to a fiery red. All at once a large mass of fire appeared over the vessel. It seemed to waver a moment in space and then fall into the sea, about fifty yards to the leeward. It struck the water with a great hissing sound, the shock causing the bark to quiver from stem to stern. The masts croaked ominously and the ship lurched. A towering mass of white foam was then seen rapidly approaching the vessel. The bark was struck flat aback, and before there was time to touch a brace, the sails filled again, and the roaring white mass could be seen passing away ahead. Another sheet of flame then ran down the mizzenmast.

       From the rigging of the mast, myriads of sparks poured forth, and the strange redness of the sky lasted for twenty minutes. During all the time the sailors were appalled. There was not a speck of white or blue or black in the sky. All was a fiery red. When it faded the atmosphere took on a yellow tinge. Then it changed to a blue and finally faded away in a mist. Suddenly the sun came up, and for an hour was dancing on the waters. The captain could give no explanation of the phenomenon. The mass of fire seemed to be forty foot long and twenty feet wide.                                                                                                                                       

This reference: Indiana Democrat (Indiana, Pennsylvania), Thursday, July 2nd, 1885

With thanks to Chris Aubeck of the Magonia Group: http://anomalies.bravepages.com        
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Note 1: Long. 70.50 would place it in the Atlantic, which it clearly was not. The first text shows Long. 170-15’, which is more likely correct.-CF-          
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UFOCAT PRN – 85594

UFOCAT URN – NONE    Anonymous; Science, 5:242, March 20, 1885

UFOCAT URN – NONE    Indiana Democrat (Indiana, Pennsylvania), Thursday, July 2nd, 1885

UFOCAT URN – 085594 The Book of the Damned, by Charles Fort p. 260, © 1919.

UFOCAT URN – 079237 Flying Saucers Have Landed by Desmond Leslie, p. 31, © 1953

UFOCAT URN – 179623 Challenge To Science by Jacques Vallee, p. 211-008, © 1966           
UFOCAT URN – 010363 Computerized Catalog (N=3073) #173 by Jacques Vallee, no date of

                                        publication

UFOCAT URN – 010362 Preliminary Catalog (N=500) #008 Jacques Vallee, no date of

                                        publication

Central Pacific Ocean

Yokohama        Latitude 35-27 N, Longitude 139-39 E (D-M) [Japan]

Victoria             Latitude 48-26-00 N, Longitude 123-22-00 W [B. C., Canada]

http://geonames2.nrcan.gc.ca/cgi-bin/v6/sima_unique_v6?english?JBOBQ?C

NOTE: The position given in the text is close to the Hawaiian Island chain. –CF-       
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UFO Location (UFOCAT) Latitude 37.0 N, Longitude 170.0 E (D.%)    
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Text position                  Latitude 37-0 N, Longitude 170-15 E (D-M)  
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