Tuesday, 12 July 2016

Strange Nocturnal Visitations in County Down

After reading Nigel Watson’s UFOs of the First World War, I felt compelled to check for additional Irish sightings from this period. I found a couple of ho hum mystery aircraft sightings. But delving back a little further, I found this: 

For some time past the peasantry who occupy the Bright hills near Downpatrick have been thrown into a state of excitement and alarm owing to the nightly appearance of luminous flames, which travel in different directions through the air. 
The lights, which are of a large size, have been attributed to different causes. Some theories have been put forward that the peculiar lights were auroral phenomena, the forerunner of some impending disaster. 
The news of these wandering lights has spread abroad, and hundreds of people from Downpatrick, Killough, Ardglass, and the neighbouring towns gather at the historic Castle of Bright to witness the marvelous sights. Curiously enough, since the King’s death, many anxious eyes have watched in vain for the nocturnal visitations. 
The lights, which are oval-shaped, were first observed in a field in Ballygilbert, along a rampart which forms one of its sides. For several nights they travelled in different directions around the field, and seemed as if confined to its environs. 
By this time interest became acute, and later hundreds gathered to the scene of observation to behold the lights travelling with lightning rapidity in different directions over a radius of several miles, to the terror of beholders. After travelling through space for almost an hour the lights would ultimately meet, the concussion causing the emission of bright sparks, which shot up into the air. 
Up to the present the cause of the mysterious lights is unknown. It is difficult to realise the commotion that they have caused, and the enormous volume of interest manifested by the inhabitants of these districts, who have watched the weird lights with consternation and surprise.
Source: The Irish Times, 18 May 1910

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