Page:The Book of the Damned (Fort, 1919).djvu/271

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BOOK OF THE DAMNED

however, not account for phenomena of geometric formation and high velocity. If he means Vera Cruz, Mexico, this is the only instance we have out of oriental waters.

Scientific American, 106-51:

That, in the Nautical Meteorological Annual, published by the Danish Meteorological Institute, appears a report upon a "singular phenomenon" that was seen by Capt. Gabe, of the Danish East Asiatic Co.'s steamship Bintang. At 3 a. m., June 10, 1909, while sailing through the Straits of Malacca, Captain Gabe saw a vast revolving wheel of light, flat upon the water—"long arms issuing from a center around which the whole system appeared to rotate." So vast was the appearance that only half of it could be seen at a time, the center lying near the horizon. This display lasted about fifteen minutes. Heretofore we have not been clear upon the important point that forward motions of these wheels do not synchronize with a vessel's motions, and freaks of disregard, or, rather, commonplaces of disregard, might attempt to assimilate with lights of a vessel. This time we are told that the vast wheel moved forward, decreasing in brilliancy, and also in speed of rotation, disappearing when the center was right ahead of the vessel—or my own interpretation would be that the source of light was submerging deeper and deeper and slowing down because meeting more and more resistance.

The Danish Meteorological Institute reports another instance:

That, when Capt. Breyer, of the Dutch steamer Valentijn, was in the South China Sea, midnight, Aug. 12, 1910, he saw a rotation of flashes. "It looked like a horizontal wheel, turning rapidly." This time it is said that the appearance was above water. "The phenomenon was observed by the captain, the first and second mates, and the first engineer, and upon all of them it made a somewhat uncomfortable impression."

In general, if our expression be not immediately acceptable, we recommend to rival interpreters that they consider the localization—with one exception—of this phenomenon, to the Indian Ocean and adjacent waters, or Persian Gulf on one side and China Sea on the other side. Though we're Intermediatists, the call of attempted Positivism, in the aspect of Completeness, is irresistible. We have expressed that from few aspects would wheels of fire in the air look like wheels of fire, but, if we can get it, we must have observation upon vast luminous wheels, not interpretable as optical illusions,