November 4, 1867. Chatham, England

"On the afternoon of Monday the 4th, between the hours of three and four, I witnessed a very extraordinary sight in the heavens. I have not heard of any one hereabout having seen it. The facts are as follow: -- At the time above mentioned I was passing by the Mill by the Water-works Reservoir. On the gallery I noticed the miller uttering exclamations of surprise, and looking earnestly towards the west. On inquiring what took his attention so much, he said, "Look, sir, I never saw such a sight in my life!" On turning in the direction towards which he was looking, the west, I also was astounded -- numberless black discs in groups and scattered were passing rapidly through the air. He said his attention was directed to them by his little girl, who called to him in the Mill, saying, "Look, father, here are a lot of balloons coming!" They continued for more than twenty minutes, the time I stayed. In passing in front of the sun they appeared like large cannon shot. Several groups passed over my head, disappearing suddenly, and leaving puffs of greyish brown vapour very much like smoke" - James E. Beveridge, "An Extraordinary Phenomenon," Symons's Monthly Meteorological Magazine, 2:130, 1867. [via Science Frontiers Online]

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