Go Back Report # 635

Between January 11 and April 10th, 1892  


On January 11, 1892, the U.S. steamship Thetis sailed from San Diego for the west coast of Baja California on Mexico's west coast. On April 10 the Atlanta Constitution printed a long account, written for it by expedition member George W. Crusselle. The following is an excerpt:

There was an incident that has been a perfect puzzle to everyone that has heard of it. Perhaps someone is able to elucidate the phenomenon satisfactorily.

       There are several salt water lagoons running in from the beach which swarm with the finest kinds of birds. One day Mr. S. L. Cutbereil and myself went over into the largest lagoon hunting and had tramped around quite a long time getting only single shots, but keeping a lookout for a larger flock to shoot into. Suddenly we saw what looked at first to be a large body of birds, but almost as quickly as we saw it, it had changed its appearance from a dark to a brilliant color, about the same dazzling appearance that reflected sunlight from a mirror or polished surface has. It was approaching us from the sea and traveling inland. At first it was in the shape of a balloon and about fifty feet high by thirty broad and traveled very rapidly. Again it changed its form into the shape of an hourglass and made a most terrific swoop down on to the surface of the water in the lagoon and spread out all over the surface, covering it with a most brilliant halo of light. It only remained there a moment when it rose again and formed itself in several fantastic shapes in quick succession, and traveling with the rapidity of lightning almost, first in one direction and then another, changing its course by abrupt angles. These peculiar antics kept up for fifteen minutes at least, and it finally disappeared away inland.

       It struck me as being a sack of phosphorescent gas, for it never showed a ragged edge, but smooth edges, just as a rubber sack full of air would be mashed in different shapes. We thought it was sunlight reflected from some clouds, but on looking, there was not a piece of cloud visible as large as a handkerchief, nor was there a helostadt [sic, heliostat] within a thousand miles of us, most probably, which could throw such a powerful reflection and that size, too. After we lost sight of it, we were almost blinded and not able to discern objects clearly for a half hour afterwards. If someone can explain it, I would be very glad to hear from them.                          

This reference: IUR (International UFO Reporter), “Proto-UFOs” by Jerome Clark, p. 21, © 2003 by the J. Allen Hynek Center for UFO Studies.

With thanks to both IUR and Jerome Clark for permission to post to this site.-CF-

Original reference: April 10, 1892, the Atlanta Constitution         

UFOCAT PRN – 181728 [DOS: EE-??-1892]

UFOCAT URN – 181728 IUR (International UFO Reporter), based on article in April 10, 1892,

                                        the Atlanta Constitution       

North America – United States, California

San Diego        Latitude 32-42-55 N, Longitude 117-09-23 W (D-M-S)

This reference: http://geonames.usgs.gov/   

North America – Mexico, Baja California on west coast

No specific location     


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