Wednesday, November 23, 2011

1880: Remarkable Sight

Williamsport [Pennsylvania] Gazette and Bulletin
January 23, 1880


The People of Williamsburg Startled
by the Handwriting on the Skies.

The people of Williamsburg were wrought up to a high state of excitement on Tuesday night [January 20], says the Altoona Tribune, over the rumor that the name of U. S. Grant had appeared in the heavens about 7 o’clock.  On the statement of a few reliable men who happened to notice it, it appears to be pretty generally credited.  They say the name was very distinctly outlined by the clouds, and was visible thirty seconds, or the time occupied by the clouds passing between them and the moon.  It is an extraordinary phenomenon, and a very hard one to credit, but the truthful character of those who saw it always has been relied on, and is by many in this case, and probably more so from the fact that it was observed from two different parts of the town at the same time.  The night was very windy, and the clouds much scattered and flying faster than usual; but through some unseen power they were thrown together in such a manner as to form unmistakably “U. S. Grant.”  Whether the clouds were blown together accidentally, or whether they came together by the will of an omnipotent power, is left for us to interpret the significance of it.  It will hardly be explained by any astronomer, but may probably have been noted by others than those spoken of.

Finder's credit: Jerome Clark

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