FIRST RECORDED UFO SIGHTING IN NORTH AMERICA [U.S.A.]
In March 1639, America’s first recorded UFO was sighted late one night over the Charles River in Boston, Massachusetts. Lights sped back and forth across the Charles River from Back Bay Fens to Charlestown. Governor John Winthrop made an entry in his journal regarding this strange event. This account was later published in The Journal of John Winthrop, 1630-1649 (John Harvard Library) The witness and incident were described as follows:
“One night in March of 1638 or 1639, James Everell (“a sober, discreet man”- Winthrop) and two companions boarded a little boat and set out for a trip on the Muddy River in Boston. They had been moving downstream for about a mile when the night’s mysterious events began. The three men were suddenly confronted with the appearance of a huge, bright light hovering in the sky. The light “flamed up” as it hovered and appeared to be about “three yards square.” As they watched, the light “contracted into the figure of a swine” and moved “swift as an arrow” in the direction of Charlton [Charlestown]. For two or three hours, the unidentified light moved back and forth in the sky between Everell’s location and Charlton. When the light finally disappeared, the men noticed to their dismay that they had somehow been carried against the tide back to the place where they had started their trip! Governor Winthrop noted, “Divers[e] other credible persons saw the same light, after, about the same place.”!”
Governor Winthrop appears to have been puzzled by the occurrence, devoting no less than two separate notes about it in the index to his history. The first merely gives a lengthy rendering of the sobriety and piety of the primary witness James Everell (“a good man of reputation, activity and good estate”) and another detailed note speculating whether the sighting was due to “demonic influences” or was ghost lights or will o’ the wisps (an early version of swamp gas).
It’s worth noting that the figure in the sky appeared to turn into “the figure of a swine.” Everell was a leather dresser, meaning he worked with the hides of animals, tanned them, and turned them into leather goods. The “swine” or pig was the only shape in his mind that he could relate to. A far as legs of the swine, is it possible that these were struts or landing gear of a craft?
Winthrop’s account also claims the event lasted two or three hours, which rules out any chance of the object being a meteor. 1638 was almost 150 years before the first balloon flights, so the possibility of the object being man-made is also ruled out. The witness also claims that their small boat was pushed back against the tide about one mile (back to where they first set their boat in the water) while they watched the object in the sky. Could this be a “lost time” phenomena? Were they physically moved by the object in the sky? Could it be they were mistaken as to the tide because they were distracted by the unidentified object in the sky? This UFO close encounter may have been more close than originally thought.
As to Winthrop’s trust of the witness, stating that he was “a sober, discreet man” he also included a footnote about Everell: “He was a man of reputation, activity and good estate in Boston many years afterwards. With his wife, Elizabeth, he had been received into Boston church 20 of July, 1634, being Nos. 239, 240. His will, made 11 December, 1682, proved 2 February following, is found in our Probate Registry, vol. VI. 400.”
The following footnote about the sighting was added in the 1825 edition of Winthrop’s Journal:
“This account of an ignis fatuus [pale light over marshy ground] may easily be believed on testimony less respectable than that which was adduced. Some operation of the devil, or other power beyond the customary agents of nature, was probably imagined by the relaters and hearers of that age, and the wonder of being carried a mile against the tide became important corroboration of the imagination. Perhaps they were wafted [carry lightly], during the two or three hours’ astonishment, for so moderate a distance, by the wind; but, if this suggestion be rejected, we might suppose, that the eddy [whirlpool], flowing always, in our rivers, contrary to the tide in the channel, rather than the meteor, carried their lighter back.” NOTE: The above image is a rendering.
KEN PFEIFER WORLD UFO PHOTOS ………. Special thanks to Phantoms and Monsters.com
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