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Id 90
Date 1918-06-28
Location United Kingdom / -region na / East Sussex, England
Database p unknown

"a round luminous cloud appeared in the sky over Brighton; it became more and more radiant with light every moment - crowds of people were looking up at this curious phenomenon." Then, suddenly, a star shot out of the cloud. "Nobody knew what it was."

Transcription of the newspaper clip:

*Strange Sights in British Skies*

Airplanes Seen in Conflict From
Sussex Attributed to Effects of
Mirage by Eye-Witness

Special to The Christian Science Monitor

Brighton, England - An unusual
phenomenon in the sky was witnessed
by thousands of people in Brighton on
the afternoon of Friday, June 28. The
following description of it is given
by an eye-witness:

"On Friday afternoon, last, the
28th Inst., a round luminous cloud
appeared in the sky over Brighton; it
became more and more radiant with
light every moment - crowds of people
were looking up at this curious phenomenon.
As they looked, suddenly
from this luminous cloud a star shot
out, and this star remained close
to the first one. Nobody knew what
it was. There were no aeroplanes in

The phenomenon was seen by the
whole of a certain regiment, and in
discussing it the explanation they gave
us was that it was the reflection of
something happening in France, and
that it was "Mirage."

On Sunday, June 30, another aerial
phenomenon was seen which is described
in the following letter to The
Times from Alfred J. Bethell; dated
Storrington, Abbey, Sussex, July 1:

"Yesterday, Sunday, June 30, about
midday, I was speaking to a friend of
mine, both of us being in the garden
here, about half a mile from the foot
of the South Downs. The wind was
southeast, sky clear and bright sun.
Suddenly, we both of us saw a great
number of aeroplanes, apparently
about one mile away southwest, and
perhaps 1500 [1300?] feet up, going through
evolutions of an evidently hostile
character to each other. I should say
there were anything between 25 and
40 of them, all of them over the the top
of the Downs, and spreading inland
at first. My friend and I settled they
must be squadrons practicing. We
watched them for, I daresay, five minutes,
and then, as they drew away
over the Downs to sea, we ran about
150 yards southwest from where we
were to get a better view. But we
never saw another sign of them. We
had seen, as we thought, certainly
two, and perhaps three, come down
out of control from our first standing
place. In the afternoon I happened
to call at a house which lay exactly
inland of where we had seen the
aeroplanes, and close, to the Downs.
The lady of the house casually mentioned
that she had spent all the
morning on the Downs, exactly at the
point where we had seen the aeroplanes.
She had seen nothing save
a single one passing at some distance.
I then told her what we had seen,
and she was amazed. I ought to add
that neither my friend nor I heard
any noise, either of shots or of aeroplane
engines, whilst we watched.
Today I met a gentleman living between
this place and the house I went
to visit, and he told me that he had
watched the whole matter, had seen
one fall quite distinctly, and went to
the Downs to look for it, but had
found nothing.

"There is, therefore, no doubt about
three men, with good eyes, having
seen the same thing at the same time.
Was it an instance in England of atmospheric
mirage reflected from the
front? The planes, however, did not
appear upside down, though they had
a rather unsubstantial appearance,
that made my friend observe twice
that somehow they looked strange. I
have often seen mirage abroad, and
so had my friend, but it never struck
either of us that this might be an instance
of it until after I had heard
that some one had been sitting on the
Downs right under the apparent battle
and had neither seen nor heard anything
of it."


NEWSPAPER Christian Science Monitor (Boston, Massachusetts, USA)

1918-07-31, Special


stars    cloud    unknown   


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