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This book, which covers Visions and hallucinations, explains what causes them and summarises how many hallucinations have been caused by each event or activity. It also provides specific help with questions people have asked us, such as ‘Is my medication giving me hallucinations?’.

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Observations placeholder

Charles Fort - Sightings of Multiple UFOs



Type of Spiritual Experience



Why all inter composer communication from unknown entities should be regarded with some care.


There are observations from reliable historical sources going back much further than this.

1.  122 BC, Ariminium, Italy: Three "moons" at once

A huge luminous body lit up the sky, and three moons rose together.  Pliny writes in his Natural History, Book II, Chapter XXXII: "Three moons have appeared at once, for instance in the consulship of Gnaeus Domitius and Gaius Fannius."  Another citation from Dio Cassius (Roman History, Book I) states: "At Ariminium a bright light like the day blazed out at night; in many portions of Italy three moons became visible in the night time."

Source: Pliny the Elder, Natural History, trans. Harris Rackham (Harvard University  Press, 1963), vol. 10, 243.

2. Hovering crescents and fire - June 741AD, Constantinople (Istanbul), Turkey

In the reign of Constantine, Copronymus, son of Leo, Emperor of Byzantium, three columns of fire and flame appeared in the sky during the month of June. The same phenomenon was also seen in the month of September: There appeared a thing, also in 735 AD, like a half-moon, in the northern quadrant of the sky, and little by little, over a rather long time, it passed to the southern quarter, and then returned to the north, and finally descended under the Earth. (i.e., presumably dropped down below the horizon). Source:  Jean-Baptiste Chabot, Chronique de Michel le Syrien, patriarche Jacobite d'Antioche 1166-1199 (Paris, 1899-1910).

3. 7th July 1015, Kyoto, Western Japan - Objects emerge from mother stars’

The Director General of Saemonfu [the Royal Guard] said that he had witnessed two stars meeting at night.
" The circumstances were as follows: Both stars flew slowly towards each other and the moment they were 10 meters or so from each other, there came little stars rushing out of each big star, coming towards the other big star, and soon returned to their respective mother star, then the two mother stars flew away swiftly. After this meeting, clouds appeared and covered the sky. I hear that people in ancient times also witnessed such a phenomenon, but recently it was so rare that I was impressed not a little." Source: Masaru Mori, "The Female Alien in a Hollow Vessel," Fortean Times, 48 (1987) 48; Inforespace 23:35.

4. Autumn 1023, France: A ballet of stars

"There were seen in the southern part of the sky in the Sign of the Lion, two stars that fought each other all Autumn; the largest and most luminous of the two came from the east, the smallest one from the west, the small one rushed furiously and fearfully at the biggest one which didn't allow the speck to approach, but he struck her with his mane of light, repulsing her far towards the east."  Source: Ademar de Chabannes, Chronicon, book 3, eh. 62, in J. Chavanon, Ademarde Chabannes, Chronique (Paris: A. Picard, 1897).

5.   13th June 1554, Iena, Germany - Spheres and disks

A large number of spheres and disks flew over the city of Iena. They had sudden variations of speed and turned to a red color as they flew north. Source: Mathias Miles, Siebenbiirgischer Wiirgenengel (Hermannstadt, 1670).


A description of the experience

From the Book of the Damned

I think that there are, out in inter-planetary space, Super Tamerlanes at the head of hosts of celestial ravagers--which have come here and pounced upon civilizations of the past, cleaning them up all but their bones, or temples and monuments--for which later historians have invented exclusionist histories. But if something now has a legal right to us, and can enforce its proprietorship, they've been warned off. It's the way of all exploitation. I should say that we're now under cultivation: that we're conscious of it, but have the impertinence to attribute it all to our own nobler and higher instincts……………..

But the acceptance is forced upon me that there are modes and modes and modes of inter-planetary existence: … a super-geography--or celestiography--of vast stagnant regions, but also of Super-Niagaras and Ultra-Mississippis: and a super-sociology--voyagers and tourists and ravagers: the hunted and the hunting: the super-mercantile, the super-piratic, the super-evangelical………….

The universal attempt to formulate or to regularize--an attempt that can be made only by disregarding or denying. Or all things disregard or deny that which will eventually invade and destroy them--

In the Monthly Notices of the R.A.S., 11-48, there is a letter from the Rev. W. Read:

That, upon the 4th of September, 1851, at 9:30 A.M., he had seen a host of self-luminous bodies, passing the field of his telescope, some slowly and some rapidly. They appeared to occupy a zone several degrees in breadth. The direction of most of them was due east to west, but some moved from north to south. The numbers were tremendous. They were observed for six hours.

In Monthly Notices, 12-38, [in response to the editor who questioned his eyesight] Mr. Read replied that he had been a diligent observer, with instruments of a superior order, for about 28 years--"but I have never witnessed such an appearance before." As to illusion he says that two other members of his family had seen the objects.

The Editor withdrew his suggestion.

Monthly Notices, 12-183:  Letter from Rev. W.R. Dawes:

That he had seen similar objects--and in the month of September—that they were nothing but seeds floating in the air.

In the _Report of the British Association_, 1852-235, there is a communication from Mr. Read to Prof. Baden-Powell:

That the objects that had been seen by him and by Mr. Dawes were not similar. He denied that he had seen seeds floating in the air. There had been little wind, and that had come from the sea, where seeds would not be likely to have origin. The objects that he had seen were round and sharply defined, and with none of the feathery appearance of thistledown. He then quotes from a letter from C.B. Chalmers, F.R.A.S., who had seen a similar stream, a procession, or migration, except that some of the bodies were more elongated--or lean and hungry—than globular.

Henry Waldner (Nature, 5-304):

That, April 27, 1863, he had seen great numbers of small, shining bodies passing from west to east. He had notified Dr. Wolf, of the Observatory of Zurich, who "had convinced himself of this strange phenomenon." Dr. Wolf had told him that similar bodies had been seen by Sig. Capocci, of the Capodimonte Observatory, at Naples, May 11, 1845.  The shapes were of great diversity--or different aspects of similar shapes?  Appendages were seen upon some of them.  We are told that some were star-shaped, with transparent appendages……………… Anyway, it would seem that we have considerable advantage here, inasmuch as seeds are not in season in April

Other examples

Hosts of small bodies--black, this time-- were seen by the astronomers Herrick, Buys-Ballot, and De Cuppis (L'Année Scientifique,1860-25);

vast numbers of bodies were seen by M. Lamey, to cross the moon (L'Année Scientifique, 1874-62);

a prodigious number of dark, spherical bodies were reported by Messier,June 17, 1777 (Arago, OEuvres, 9-38);

a considerable number of luminous bodies which appeared to move out from the sun, in diverse directions; were seen in Havana, during an eclipse of the sun, May 15, 1836, by Prof. Auber (Poey);
M. Poey cites a similar instance, of Aug. 3, 1886;

A large number of small bodies were seen crossing the disk of the sun, some swiftly, some slowly; most of them globular, but some seemingly triangular, and some of a more complicated structure; were seen by M. Trouvelet, who, had never seen anything resembling these forms before (L'Année Scientifique, 1885-8);

A report from the Rio de Janeiro Observatory was made, of vast numbers of bodies crossing the sun, some of them luminous and some of them dark, from some time in December, 1875, until Jan. 22, 1876 (La Nature, 1876-384).

In L'Astronomie, 1886-70, is recorded M. Briguiere's observation, at Marseilles, April 15 and April 25, 1883, upon the crossing of the sun by bodies that were irregular in form. Some of them moved as if in alignment.

Letter from Sir Robert Inglis to Col. Sabine (_Rept. Brit. Assoc.,1849-17):

That, at 3 P.M., Aug. 8, 1849, at Gais, Switzerland, Inglis had seen thousands and thousands of brilliant white objects, like snowflakes in a cloudless sky. Though this display lasted about twenty-five minutes, not one of these seeming snowflakes was seen to fall. Inglis says that his servant "fancied" that he had seen something like wings on these--whatever they were.

Nature, 22-64:

That, at Kattenau, Germany, about half an hour before sunrise, March 22, 1880, "an enormous number of luminous bodies rose from the horizon, and passed in a horizontal direction from east to west." They are described as having appeared in a zone or belt. "They shone with a remarkably brilliant light."

Monthly Notices, 30-135:

"An unusual phenomenon noticed by Lieut. Herschel, Oct. 17 and 18, 1870, while observing the sun, at Bangalore, India." Lieut. Herschel had noticed dark shadows crossing the sun--but away from the sun there were luminous, moving images. For two days bodies passed in a continuous stream, varying in size and velocity.

The Lieutenant tries to explain, as we shall see, but he says: "As it was, the continuous flight, for two whole days, in such numbers, in the upper regions of the air, of beasts that left no stragglers, is a wonder ……."He says that he saw upon the objects either wings or phantom-like appendages.

One of them had paused.  It had hovered.  Then it had whisked off.

Prof. Coffin, U.S.N. (_Jour. Frank. Inst._, 88-151):

That, during the eclipse of August, 1869, he had noted the passage, across his telescope, of several bright flakes resembling thistleblows, floating in the sunlight. But the telescope was so focused that, if these things were distinct, they must have been so far away from this earth that the difficulties of orthodoxy remain as great, one way or another, no matter what we think they were--They were "well-defined," says Prof. Coffin.

L'Astronomie, 1885-347:

That, at the Observatory of Zacatecas, Mexico, Aug. 12, 1883, about 2,500 meters above sea level, were seen a large number of small luminous bodies, entering upon the disk of the sun. M. Bonilla telegraphed to the Observatories of the City of Mexico and of Puebla. Word came back that the bodies were not visible there. Because of this parallax, M. Bonilla placed the bodies "relatively near the earth." But then we find out what he called "relatively near the earth"-- His estimate is "less distance than the moon."  One of them was photographed. See _L'Astronomie, 1885-349. The photograph shows a long body surrounded by indefinite structures, or by the haze of wings or planes in motion.

L'Astronomie, 1887-66;

Signer Ricco, of the Observatory of Palermo, writes that, Nov. 30, 1880, at 8:30 o'clock in the morning, he was watching the sun, when he saw, slowly traversing its disk, bodies in two long, parallel lines, and a shorter, parallel line. The bodies looked winged to him. But so large were they that he had to think of large birds. Sig. Ricco's estimate is that these objects … must have been at least five and a half miles high.

[Our own acceptance, in conventional terms, is that there is not a bird of this earth that would not freeze to death at a height of more than four miles:]

Mr. H.C. Russell, F.R.A.S.

tells in the Observatory, 2-374, that he and another astronomer, G.D. Hirst, were in the Blue Mountains, near Sydney, N.S.W., and Mr. Hirst was looking at the moon--He saw on the moon what Russell calls "one of those remarkable facts, which being seen should be recorded, although no explanation can at present be offered."
"He found a large part of it covered with a dark shade, quite as dark as the shadow of the earth during an eclipse of the moon.  One could hardly resist the conviction that it was a shadow, yet it could not be the shadow of any known body."

Transactions of the Swedish Academy of Sciences, 1808-215,

translated for the North American Review,  3-319:  That M. Acharius, having heard of "an extraordinary and probably hitherto unseen phenomenon," reported from near the town of Skeninge, Sweden, investigated:

That, upon the 16th of May, 1808, at about 4 P.M., the sun suddenly turned dull brick-red. At the same time there appeared, upon the western horizon, a great number of round bodies, dark brown, and seemingly the size of a hat crown. They passed overhead and disappeared in the eastern horizon. Tremendous procession. It lasted two hours. Occasionally one fell to the ground. When the place of a fall was examined, there was found a film, which soon dried and vanished. Often, when approaching the sun, these bodies seemed to link together, or were then seen to be linked together, in groups not exceeding eight, and, under the sun, they were seen to have tails three or four fathoms long. Away from the sun the tails were invisible. Whatever their substance may have been, it is described as gelatinous--"soapy and jellied."

Jour. Roy. Astro. Soc. of Canada, November and December, 1913:

That, according to many observations collected by Prof. Chant, of Toronto, there appeared, upon the night of Feb. 9, 1913, a spectacle   that was seen in Canada, the United States, and at sea, and in Bermuda.  A luminous body was seen. To it there was a long tail. The body grew rapidly larger. "Observers differ as to whether the body was single, or was composed of three or four parts, with a tail to each part." The group, or complex structure, moved with "a peculiar, majestic deliberation." "It disappeared in the distance, and another group emerged from its place of origin. Onward they moved, at the same deliberate pace, in twos or threes or fours." They disappeared. A third group, or a third structure, followed.

Some observers compared the spectacle to a fleet of airships: others to battleships attended by cruisers and destroyers.  According to one writer:

"There were probably 30 or 32 bodies, and the peculiar thing about them was their moving in fours and threes and twos, abreast of one another; and so perfect was the lining up that you would have thought it was an aerial fleet manoeuvering after rigid drilling."

New Lands

A great number of red points in the sky of Urrugne, July 9, 1853 (An. Soc. Met. de France, 1853-227).

The source of the experience

Fort, Charles

Concepts, symbols and science items




Science Items


Activities and commonsteps