Pedro Cabal - The slow-moving light seen by Pedro Cabral
Type of Spiritual Experience
The fleet under the command of the 32–33-year-old Cabral departed from Lisbon on 9 March 1500 at noon. The previous day it had been given a public send-off which included a Mass and celebrations attended by the King, his court and a huge crowd.
On the morning of 14 March, the flotilla passed Gran Canaria, in the Canary Islands. It sailed onward to Cape Verde, a Portuguese colony situated on the West African coast, which was reached on 22 March. The next day, a nau commanded by Vasco de Ataíde with 150 men disappeared without a trace.
The fleet crossed the Equator on 9 April, and sailed westward as far as possible from the African continent in what was known as the volta do mar (literally "turn of the sea") navigational technique. Seaweed was sighted on 21 April, which led the sailors to believe that they were nearing the coast. They were proven correct the next afternoon, Wednesday 22 April 1500, when the fleet anchored near what Cabral christened the Monte Pascoal ("Easter Mount", it being the week of Easter). The spot is on the northeast coast of present-day Brazil.
A description of the experience
As 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
W. B. Greenlee, ed., The Voyage of Pedro Alvares Cabral to Brazil and India (London: Hakluyt Society, 1937).
A phenomenon difficult to explain as a meteor occurred when Pedro Alvares Cabral left Portugal on an expedition of 13 vessels and a crew of 1,200 men.
The expedition was plagued with incidents. However, had it not been for one such near-disaster they would never have headed west and gone down in history as the first men to reach Brazil in the year 1500.
As they were sailing around Africa they saw a luminous object in the southern sky. It only remained in sight for 8 minutes, moving slowly towards the Cape of Good Hope.
Shortly after, a hurricane arose. Six ships sank or ran aground. The remaining seven went on to the Americas. These vessels made it back to Lisbon bringing with them a fortune in spices and news about the discovery of Brazil and Madagascar.