First modern reports

Before the terms “flying saucer” and “UFO” were coined, there were a number of reports of strange, unidentified aerial phenomena. These reports date from the mid-nineteenth to early twentieth century. They include:
·         On July, 1868, The investigators of this phenomenon define as the first documented sighting modern the happened in Copiapo city, Chile.
·         On January 25, 1878, The Denison Daily News wrote that local farmer John Martin had reported seeing a large, dark, circular flying object resembling a balloon flying “at wonderful speed.”
·         On November 17, 1882, astronomer E. W. Maunder of the Greenwich Royal Observatory described in the Observatory Reports “a strange celestial visitor” that was “disc-shaped,” “torpedo-shaped,” or “spindle-shaped.” It was said to be very different in characteristics from a meteor fireball. Years later, Maunder wrote it looked exactly like the new Zeppelin dirigibles. The strange object was also seen by several other European astronomers.
·         On February 28, 1904, there was a sighting by three crew members on the USS Supply 300 miles west of San Francisco, reported by Lt. Frank Schofield, later to become Commander-in-Chief of the Pacific Fleet. Schofield wrote of three bright red egg-shaped and circular objects flying in echelon formation that approached beneath the cloud layer, then changed course and “soared” above the clouds, departing directly away from the earth after 2 to 3 minutes. The largest had an apparent size of about six suns.
·         The so-called Fátima incident or “The Miracle of the Sun,” witnessed by tens of thousands in Fátima, Portugal on October 13, 1917, is believed by some researchers to actually be a UFO event.
·         On February 25, 1942, an unidentified craft was detected over the California region. The craft stayed aloft despite taking at least 20 minutes worth of flak from ground batteries. The incident later became known as the Battle of Los Angeles, or the West coast air raid.
·         In 1946, there were over 2000 reports of unidentified aircraft in the Scandinavian nations, along with isolated reports from France, Portugal, Italy and Greece, then referred to as “Russian hail,” and later as “ghost rockets,” because it was thought that these mysterious objects were Russian tests of captured German V1 or V2 rockets. This was subsequently shown not to be the case, and the phenomenon remains unexplained. Over 200 were tracked on radar and deemed to be “real physical objects” by the Swedish military. A significant fraction of the remainder were thought to be misperceptions of natural phenomena, such as meteors.

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