Ahmad ibn- Fadlan – Sees ‘Djinns’ in red clouds
Type of Spiritual Experience
quoted in Wonders In The Sky - Unexplained Aerial Objects From Antiquity To Modern Times - and Their Impact on Human Culture, History, and Beliefs - Jacques Vallee and Chris Aubeck
A description of the experience
Source: A. Kovalevskiy, The book by Ahmad ibn-Fadlan about his voyage to the Volga in the years 921-922. Papers, Translations, and Comments (Kharkov, 1956).
12 May 922, Bulgaria: The Jinni in the red clouds
In July 921 the ambassador Susan ar-Rassi headed a mission that left Baghdad for Vulgar Bulgaria with the aim of seeking support from King Almush to form a military alliance against Khazar Kaganate. On 12 May 922, the first night they spent in Almush's country, a strange phenomenon was seen in the sky. The secretary of the mission, Ahmad ibn- Fadlan described the sighting thus:
"I saw that before the final disappearance of sunlight, at the usual hour of prayer, the sky horizon reddened considerably. And I heard in the air loud sounds and a strong hubbub. Then I lifted up my head and lo! A cloud [ was seen ] not far from me, red like fire, and this hubbub and these sounds came from it. And lo! [there were] seen in it something like men and horses, and in the hands of some figures inside it, similar to men, [there were] bows, arrows, spears, and naked swords. And they seemed to me sometimes absolutely clear, sometimes just apparent. And lo! [there appeared] near them another similar armed group, a black one, in which I also saw men, horses and weaponry. And this detachment began to attack the other one, as a cavalry troop attacks another cavalry troop."
The phenomenon lasted for some time. Ibn-Fadlan writes that the men asked the king what it may have meant. The king replied that his forefathers, who were accustomed to seeing such things, believed the riders were "Jinni" (Jinns). Ambassador ar-Rassi also gave his version of the event. His account coincided with that of the secretary, except in that he noticed two red clouds rather than one. He also noted that the sighting began an hour before sunset and ended at around 1:00 A.M.