Go Back Report # 22



Anonymous; Science, 10:324, 1887.

       The following report from the Hydrographic Office relates to one of the rarest and most inexplicable forms of lightning. Can any of the readers of Science give any information on the subject? A globe of fire floats leisurely along in the air in an erratic sort of a course, sometimes exploding with great force, at other times disappearing without exploding. On land it has been observed to go into the ground and then reappear at a short distance, and where it entered the soil, it left a rugged hole some twenty feet in diameter. Although there is no doubt as to the facts regarding the phenomenon, no satisfactory explanation of the cause has ever been given. It is, of course, entirely different in character from St. Elmo's fires, so often seen on board vessels during thunder-storms: these remain stationary at the yard-arms and mast-heads and are analogous to the 'brush discharge' of an electric machine.

       Captain Moore, British steamship Siberian, reports, "Nov. 12, midnight, Cape Race bearing west by north, distant ten miles, wind strong south by east, a large ball of fire appeared to rise out of the sea to a height of about fifty feet and come right against the wind close up to the ship. It then altered its course and ran along with the ship to a distance of about one and one-half miles. In about two minutes it again altered its course and went away to the south-east against the wind. It lasted, in all, not over five minutes. Have noticed the same phenomenon before off Cape Race, and it seemed to indicate that an easterly or south-easterly gale was coming on." (Science, 10:324, 1887)                                                                                                   

This reference: “The Handbook of Natural Phenomena” by William R. Corliss. Sourcebook Project, Glen Arm, MD, 1977. Thanks to CUFOS for this article.

Original reference as shown: Science, 10:324, 1887. 


[Note: Professional English translation follows French text]   

La foudre globulaire. -- On a observé dans l'Océan Atlantique nord un nouvel exemple de ces cas de tonnerreboule si bizarres et encore si inexplicables. Le 12 novembre 1887, à minuit, près du cap Race, une énorme boule de feu apparut, s'élevant lentement de la mer jusqu'à la hauteur de 16m à 17m. Cette boule se mit à marcher contre le vent et vint s'arrêter près du navire d'où on l'observait. Puis elle s'élança vers le Sud-Est et disparut. L'apparition avait duré environ 5 min. 

The globular thunderbolt. -There has been observed in the North Atlantic Ocean a new example of these cases of thunderball, so bizarre yet quite inexplicable. On November 12th, 1887, at midnight, close to Cape Race, an enormous ball of fire appeared, rising slowly from the sea to a height of 16m to 17m. This ball started moving against the wind and came to a stop close to the ship from where it was observed. Then it sprang toward the south-east and disappeared. The apparition lasted about 5 min.                                                                                                     

"The Globular Thunderbolt," L'Astronomie, Vol. 7 (1888), p. 76

With thanks to the Magonia Group: http://anomalies.bravepages.com         

UFOCAT PRN – 85595 [DOS: 11-??-1887]

UFOCAT URN – 010397 Flying Saucers-Serious Business by Frank Edwards, p. 23, © 1966

UFOCAT URN – 100128 Flying Saucer (Ray Palmer), June 1970, p. 8

UFOCAT URN – 057487 Etudes Statistiques Portant sur 1000 Témoignages by Claude Poher,

                                        #2701, No date of publication        

UFOCAT PRN – 85595 [DOS: 11-12-1887]

UFOCAT URN – 085595 The Book of the Damned by Charles Fort, p. 261, © 1919.

UFOCAT URN – 079243 Flying Saucers Have Landed by Desmond Leslie, p. 31, © 1953

UFOCAT URN – 010394 Doubt Magazine, 1953_194

UFOCAT URN – 076510 Phénomènes Spatiaux (GEPA), December 1964

UFOCAT URN – 010395 Anatomy of a Phenomenon by Jacques Vallee, p. 15, © 1965

UFOCAT URN – 010393 A Century of Landings (N=923) #0009, Jacques Vallee, © 1969

UFOCAT URN – 073274 Invisible Residents by Ivan T. Sanderson, pp. 27-28, © 1970

UFOCAT URN – 010392 Data-Net Report, May 1970

UFOCAT URN – 064708 Etudes Statistiques Portant sur 1000 Témoignages by Claude Poher,

                                        #0054, No date of publication

UFOCAT URN – 063684 World-Wide Catalog of Type 1 Reports by Peter Rogerson, #0011, No date

UFOCAT URN – 010396 Computerized Catalog (N=3073) #185 by Jacques Vallee,

                                        No date of publication

UFOCAT URN – 176503 *U* UFO Computer Database by Larry Hatch, # XXXXXX, © 2002    

North America – Canada, Newfoundland

Cape Race – Latitude 46-40 N, Longitude 53-05 W (D-M)

Reference: Canada Gazetteer, Prepared in the Office of Geography, Department of the Interior, Washington, D.C., November 1953.    

UFO Location (UFOCAT) – Latitude 45.67 N, Longitude 53.13 W (D.%)          


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