This article, dated November 7, 1806, was discovered by Springhouse in a copy of The Mirror, a newspaper published in Russelville, Kentucky. As best we can determine, the article first appeared September 15, 1806,in a newspaper published in Raleigh, North Carolina.
As to what conclusion should be drawn from the information presented below, Springhouse does not have not the shadow of a clue.
The following account of an extroadinary phenomenon, that appeared to a number of people in the county of Rutherford, state of North Corolina, was made the 7th of August, 1806, in presence of D. Dickie, Esq. of the county and state aforesaid. Jesse Anderson and the Rev. George Newston of the county of Buncome and Miss Betsey Newton of the state of Georgia, who unamimously agreed, with the consent of the relators, that Mr. Newton should communicate it to Mr. J. Gates, Editor of the Raleigh Register and State Gazette.
Patsey Reaves, a widow woman, who lives near the Apalachian Mountain, declared, that on the 31st day of July last, about 6 o'clock P.M. her daughter Elizabeth, about 8 years old, was in the cotton field, about 10 poles from the dwelling house, which stands by computation, six furlongs from the Chimney Mountain, and that Elizabeth told her brother Morgan, aged 11 years, that there was a man on the mountain. Morgan was incredulous at first, but he little girl affirmed it, and said she saw him, rolling rocks or picking up sticks, adding that she saw a heap of people. Morgan then went to the place where she was, and called out, said that he saw a thousand or ten thousand things flying in the air. On which Polly, daughter of Mrs. Reaves, a good four years, and a negro woman, ran to the children and called Mrs. Reaves to see what a sight yonder was. Mrs. Reaves says she went about 8 poles towards them, and, without any sensible alarm or fright, she turned towards the Chimney Mountain, and discovered a very numerous crowd of beings resembling the human species but could not discern any particular members of the human body, nor distinction of sexes; that they were of every size, from the tallest men down to the least infants; that there were more of the small than of the full grown, that they were all clad with brilliant white rainment; but could not describe any form of their garment; that they appeared to rise off the mountain south of said rock, and about as high; that a considerable part of the mountain's top was visible about this shining host, that they moved in a northern direction, and collected about the top of Chimney Rock. When all but a few had reached said rock, two seemed to rise together and behind them about two feet, a third rose. These three moved with great agility towards the crowd, and had the nearest resemblence of two men of any before seen. While beholding those three here eyes were attracted by three more rising nearly from the same place, and moving swiftly in the same order and direction. After these, several others rose and went toward the rock.
During this view, which all the spectators thought lasted upwards of an hour, she sent for Mr. Robert Siercy, who did not come at first; on a second message sent about fifteen minutes after the first, Mr. Siercy came;and being now before us, he gives the following relation, to the substance of which Mrs. Reaves agrees.
Mr. Siercy said, when he was coming, he expected to see nothing extraordinary, and when come, being asked if he saw those people on the mountain, he answered no; but on looking the Second time, he said he saw more glittering white appearances of human kind that ever had had seen of men at any general review; that they were of all sizes from that of men to infants; that they moved in throngs round a large rock, not far from the Chimney Rock; that they were about the height of the Chimney Rock, and moved in a semicircular course between him and the rock, and so passed along in a southern route between him and the mountains, to the place where Mrs. Reaves said they rose; and that two of a full size went before the general crowd about the space of 20 yards, and as they respectively came to this place, they vanished out of sight, leaving a solemn and pleasing impression on the mind, accompanied with a dimunution of bodily strength.
Whether the above be accountable on philosophical principles, or whether it be a prelude to the descent of the holy city, I leave to the impartially curious to judge.
P.S. The above subscriber has been informed, that on the same evening, at about the same time in which the above phenomenon appeared, there was seen by a gentleman of character, who was several miles distant from the place, a bright rainbow, apparently near the sun, then in the west, where there was no appearance of either clouds or rain; but a haze in the atmosphere. The public are therefore at liberty to judge, whether the phenomenen had any thing supernatural in it, or whether it was some unusual exhalation or moist vapor from the side of the mountain, which exhibited such an unusual rainbow.
Mystery Light in the Sky
July, 27, 1915
Still more reports are coming in substantiating the claims that a comet or meteor or something passed through the heavens Friday evening (July 23). We bow in humble homage to C. A. Ferguson and declare him to be the best astronomer in Harrisburg, not even barring Clarence Bonnell, who teaches it at the high school. The Mt. Vernon News of Saturday, had the following: "Those who were outside at 11:o'clock last evening were treated to a beautiful sight when a brilliant meteor crossed the sky from the northwest to the southeast. The spectacle was accompanied with a yellow shower in its wake and a rushing sound like a huge sky rocket. At the zenith the meteor cast off a smaller passenger, and after this the main body gave forth a bluish haze. Local amateur astronomers say that the sight was unusual for this period of the year."
My grandfather, Guy A. DeNeal (1896-1983) was a schoolteacher who also happened to be noted as a storyteller. One of his more memorable tales concerned the night he and his older brother Lee walked nearly a mile up the road to see their cousin Clarence have his broken arm set by the doctor. Along the way the two boys were stunned to find the night suddenly bright as day.
They saw a celestial object fall to earth, seemingly very near to them. Grandpa saw when they returned home, probably nearly an hour later, the trail of the fallen object was still discernable in the sky.
The exact year of the two brothers' remarkable sighting is not known; however, the account from the Daily Register (Harrisburg, Illinois) dated July 27, 1915, is a vivid reminder of what my grandfather and his brother saw one night more than 80 years ago, somewhere southwest of Somerset, Illinois, in southeastern Saline County.
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