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Observations placeholder

Charles Fort - Shadows across the moon



Type of Spiritual Experience



and similar accounts from other sources

1.   7 March 1458, Kyoto, Japan: Five stars circle the moon
Five "stars" appeared to circle the moon, changed colors three times and vanished suddenly.

Source: The Taiheiki: A Chronicle of Medieval Japan, trans. Helen Craig McCullough (North Clarendon, VT: Tuttle Publishing, 2004).

224th April 1547, Halberstadt, Saxony, Germany: Black sphere

A black ball-shaped object was seen, apparently "emerging from the middle of the moon" and flying fast towards the North.      Source: Simon Goulart, Tresors d'Histoires Admirables et Memorables de notre Temps (1600); Jobus Fincelius, Wunderzeiche, Warhafftige Beschreybung undgrundlich verzeichnuss schrocklicher Wunderzeichen und Geschichten. (Jhena: Rodinger, 1556); Lycosthenes, op. cit., 595.

A description of the experience

The Book of the Damned - Charles Fort

Science, July 31, 1896:

That, according to a newspaper account, Mr. W.R. Brooks, director of the Smith Observatory, had seen a dark round object pass rather slowly across the moon, in a horizontal direction. In Mr. Brooks' opinion it was a dark meteor. …….. there is a note from the Dutch astronomer, Muller, in the Scientific American, 75-251, that, upon April 4, 1892, he had seen a similar phenomenon.

In Science Gossip, n.s., 3-135,

are more details of the Brooks object--apparent diameter about one-thirtieth of the moon's--moon's disk crossed in three or four seconds. The writer, in Science Gossip, says that, on June 27, 1896, at one o'clock in the morning, he was looking at the moon with a 2-inch achromatic, power 44, when a long black object sailed past, from west to east, the transit occupying 3 or 4 seconds.

Communication from Dr. F.B. Harris (Popular Astronomy, 20-398):

That, upon the evening of Jan. 27, 1912, Dr. Harris saw, upon the moon, "an intensely black object." He estimated it to be 250 miles long and 50 miles wide. "The object resembled a crow poised, as near as anything." Clouds then cut off observation.

Dr. Harris writes:  "I cannot but think that a very interesting and curious phenomenon happened."

Miscellaneous Moon objects

luminous object, size of full moon, visible an hour and a half, Chili, Nov. 5, 1883 (Comptes Rendus, 103-682);

thing with a tail, crossing moon, transit half a minute, Sept. 26, 1870 (London Times, Sept. 30, 1870);

object four or five times size of moon, moving slowly across sky, Nov. 1, 1885, near Adrianople (L'Astronomie, 1886-309);

New Lands

In Popular Astronomy, 3-159, Prof. Swift writes that, at Mattoon, Ill., during the eclipse of the sun, of Aug. 7, 1869, he had seen, crossing the moon, objects that he thought were seeds. If they were seeds, also there happened to be seeds in the sky of Ottumwa, Iowa: here, crossing the visible part of the sun, twenty minutes before totality of the eclipse, Prof. Himes and Prof. Zentmayer saw objects that marched, or that moved, in straight, parallel lines (Les Mondes, 21-241).
 In the Jour. Frank. Inst., 3-58-214, it is said that some of these objects moved in one direction across the moon, and that others moved in another direction across another part of the moon, each division moving in parallel lines. If these things were seeds, also there happened to be seeds in the sky, at Shelleyville, Kentucky. Here were seen, by Prof. Winlock, Alvan Clark, Jr., and George W. Dean, things that moved across the moon, during the eclipse, in parallel, straight lines (Pop. Astro., 2-332).

Observatory, 3-137—that, at St. Paul's Junction, Iowa, four persons had seen, without telescopes, a shining object close to the sun and moon, apparently; that, with a telescope, another person had seen another large object, crescentically illumined, farther from the sun and moon in eclipse. See Nature, 18-663, and Astro. Reg.,. 7-227.

April 24, 1874 - the Astronomical Register, 23-205, Prof. Schafarik, of Prague, writes that upon April 24, 1874, he saw "an object of so peculiar a nature that I do not know what to make of it." He saw a dazzling white object slowly traversing the disc of the moon. He had not seen it approaching the moon. He watched it after it left the moon.

Sept. 27, 1881—South Africa—an object that was seen near the moon, by Col. Markwick—like a comet but moving rapidly (Jour. Liverpool Astro. Soc., 7-117).

The source of the experience

Fort, Charles

Concepts, symbols and science items




Science Items


Activities and commonsteps