Charles Fort - Possible Eclipses by Unknown Dark Bodies
Type of Spiritual Experience
And other and similar events have taken place, the following are examples from other sources:
1. 7th April 1567, Basel, Switzerland: A black sphere
A black sphere appears in the sky and covers the face of the Sun. It was seen all day long. Source: Samuel Coccius (Koch), Wunderbare aber Warhaffte Gesicht vii erscheinungin Wolcken des Himmels auff den andern tag Menens in diesem lauffenden acht und sechtzigsten Jar. [...] Sampt angehencktergeschicht /inn dem vergangnen LXVII. Jar auff den vii. tag/Aprellens ausz dew lufft geoffenbaret /bende vorhin niemalen/aber jetz. under zur warming im truck auszgangen (Basel: Samuel Apiarius, 1558), Ms. F. 18.
A description of the experience
The Book of the Damned - Charles Fort
Notes and Queries, 2-4-139
there is an account of a darkness in Holland, in the midst of a bright day, so intense and terrifying that many panic-stricken persons lost their lives stumbling into the canals.
Gentleman's Magazine, 33-414:
A darkness that came upon London, Aug. 19, 1763, "greater than at the great eclipse of 1748."
However, our preference is not to go so far back for data. For a list of historic "dark days," see Humboldt, Cosmos, 1-120.
bright object near sun, Dec. 21, 1882 (Knowledge, 3-13);
Monthly Weather Review, March, 1886-79:
That, according to the La Crosse Daily Republican, of March 20, 1886, darkness suddenly settled upon the city of Oshkosh, Wis., at 3 P.M., March 19. In five minutes the darkness equaled that of midnight. Consternation. I think that some of us are likely to overdo our own superiority and the absurd fears of the Middle Ages--Oshkosh. People in the streets rushing in all directions--horses running away--women and children running into cellars--little modern touch after all: gas meters instead of images and relics of saints.
This darkness, which lasted from eight to ten minutes, occurred in a day that had been "light but cloudy." It passed from west to east, and brightness followed: then came reports from towns to the west of Oshkosh: that the same phenomenon had already occurred there. A "wave of total darkness" had passed from west to east.
Other instances are recorded in the Monthly Weather Review, …some of the instances are interesting—intense darkness at Memphis, Tenn., for about fifteen minutes, at 10 A.M., Dec. 2, 1904--"We are told that in some quarters a panic prevailed, and that some were shouting and praying and imagining that the end of the world had come." (_M.W.R., 32-522.)
At Louisville, Ky., March 7, 1911, at about 8 A.M.: duration about half an hour; had been raining moderately, and then hail had fallen. "The intense blackness and general ominous appearance of the storm spread terror throughout the city." (M.W.R., 39-345.)
U.S. Forest Service Bulletin, No. 117
As to darknesses that have fallen upon vast areas, conventionality is--smoke from forest fires. In the U.S. Forest Service Bulletin, No. 117, F.G. Plummer gives a list of eighteen darknesses that have occurred in the United States and Canada. He is one of the primitives, but I should say that his dogmatism is shaken by vibrations from the new Dominant. His difficulty, which he acknowledges, but which he would have disregarded had he written a decade or so earlier, is the profundity of some of these obscurations. He says that mere smokiness cannot account for such "awe-inspiring dark days." Then, in the inconsistency or discord of all quasi-intellection that is striving for consistency or harmony, he tells of the vastness of some of these darknesses…. of his nineteen instances, nine are set down as covering all New England.
Profound darkness in Canada and northern parts of the United States, Nov. 19, 1819
However, of the eighteen instances, the only one that I'd bother to contest is the profound darkness in Canada and northern parts of the United States, Nov. 19, 1819--
Its concomitants: Lights in the sky; Fall of a black substance; Shocks like those of an earthquake.
In this instance, the only available forest fire was one to the south of the Ohio River. For all I know, soot from a very great fire south of the Ohio might fall in Montreal, Canada, and conceivably, by some freak of reflection, light from it might be seen in Montreal, but the earthquake is not assimilable with a forest fire. On the other hand, it will soon be our expression that profound darkness, fall of matter from the sky, lights in the sky, and earthquakes are phenomena of the near approach of other worlds to this world. It is such comprehensiveness, as contrasted with inclusion of a few factors and disregard for the rest, that we call higher approximation to realness--or universalness.
Symons' Met. Mag., 39-69
A darkness, of April 17, 1904, at Wimbledon, England (Symons' Met. ag., 39-69). It came from a smokeless region: no rain, no thunder; lasted 10 minutes; too dark to go "even out in the open."
As to darknesses in Great Britain, one thinks of fogs--but in Nature, 25-289, there are some observations by Major J. Herschel, upon an obscuration in London, Jan. 22, 1882, at 10:30 A.M., so great that he could hear persons upon the opposite side of the street, but could not see them--"It was obvious that there was no fog to speak of."
Annual Register, 1857-132:
An account by Charles A. Murray, British Envoy to Persia, of a darkness of May 20, 1857, that came upon Bagdad--"a darkness more intense than ordinary midnight, when neither stars nor moon are visible...." "After a short time the black darkness was succeeded by a red, lurid gloom, such as I never saw in any part of the world."
"Panic seized the whole city."
"A dense volume of red sand fell."
This matter of sand falling seems to suggest conventional explanation enough, or that a simoon, heavily charged with terrestrial sand, had obscured the sun, but Mr. Murray, who says that he had had experience with simoons, gives his opinion that "it cannot have been a simoon."
Comptes Rendus, 50-1197:
an eclipse, by a vast, dark body, that was seen and reported by an astronomer. The astronomer is M. Lias: the phenomenon was seen by him, at Pernambuco, April 11, 1860.
It was about noon--sky cloudless--suddenly the light of the sun was diminished. The darkness increased, and, to illustrate its intensity, we are told that the planet Venus shone brilliant. But Venus was of low visibility at this time. The observation that burns incense to the New Dominant is:
That around the sun appeared a corona.