According to Mr. Auber, a mathematics teacher at a school in Orotava, Tenerife, a violent storm was accompanied by a series of weird luminous phenomena that were witnessed by many people. A letter from Auber, published in Annales de Chimie et de Physique 1 in 1835, tells that during the day on November 26th, 1826, the sea was rougher than normal but the atmosphere was clear enough "to see things at a considerable distance." In the evening the wind blew harder and the sky was covered with thick clouds. The valley was covered in a mist and it began to rain heavily. By midnight "it seemed the rain was going to submerge the town" and "the whistle of the wind against the walls of the buildings was very sinister." At 2:00 am, writes Auber:
"I saw in the atmosphere a light similar to the aurora borealis, but stronger. The flashes of light seemed to rise from a central point situated away from the coast to the north of my house, attaining up to 45° in height. The interposition of the St. Francis current didn't allow me to perceive immediately the centre of the phosphorescent lights, which lasted about seven or eight minutes and disappeared [completely] after a quarter of an hour. This luminous phenomenon seemed very interesting to me and I carried on watching in order to try to know the cause. The light came back very soon, brighter and longer than before and this time the centre of the light seemed to have changed position, although it was hidden by the cliffs on the coast. This light disappeared once more to return in a different place. My attention was mounting when I saw spheres of fire appear in different directions. These new meteors crossed each other in the sky, but did not give so much light as I had observed in the first light; they appeared to wander over the waters, and some seemed to be many leagues from the shore, although the others threw out another flash of light from behind the cliffs. When I moved towards the south-west I could distinguish some at the bottom of the mountain of Tygayga 2, more than a league from the coast."
At 4:00 am the meteors disappeared completely, though it went on raining heavily at 6:00 am. The next day Auber asked others living in the vicinity whether they, too, had seen the lights. He quickly learnt that they had.
"Some unfortunate people who had been swallowed up by the water's force and whom we had been able to save assured that they had seen big lights over the waters that had carried them off, and every effort that they made to get to the shore had been accompanied by a luminosity that seemed to come out of the waters."
The hurricane caused some 232 deaths, 84 of which were in Orotava, and a total of 421 were destroyed. 936 animals were killed, approximately half of which were also in Orotava.
Reference for the above text is: A letter from Auber, published in Annales de Chimie et de Physique 1 in 1835
With thanks to Chris Aubeck of the Magonia Group: http://anomalies.bravepages.com (from my notes, quotes, in English translation from the French).
Note 1: French for “Annals of Chemistry and Physics” –CF-
Note 2: Tygayga mountain - Rialexo de Abaxo.* (* This last-named village stands at the foot of the lofty mountain of Tygayga.) – Unable to get coordinates –CF-
UFOCAT PRN – NONE
Canary Islands (Spain) off the northwest coast of Africa east of Western Sahara and Morocco
Orotava Latitude 28-46-00 N, Longitude 17-45-00 W (D-M-S)
Tenerife Approximate Latitude 28N, Longitude 16.5 W (D.%) [Island]
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