Saturday, March 29, 2008

from Proceedings of the Society for Psychical Research, 1905-7

(page 143)

The following accounts of previous appearances of lights at various places along the coast of Tremadoc Bay are taken from Bye-Gones (a series of notes on antiquarian subjects which appears weekly in the Border Counties Advertizer, Oswestry, and is reprinted in quarterly parts), the extracts having been kindly furnished me by the editor:

From "Bye-Gones," March, 1875 (p. 198).

Yoke House, Pwllheli, 2nd March, 1875. — The curious lights appeared again on Sunday night. We saw twelve at the same time; two were very bright, the one of a red, the other of a blue colour. They were inland, the same as before, but from what we could observe they did not confine themselves to marshy ground, although at first they seemed to rise from the ground where we knew there were swamps. It was a very dark and foggy night, and my brother, my son Percy, my keeper and I went out about a mile to see if we could get near them. When we had gone about half a mile we observed four or five behind us. We went to the farm adjoining, and called their attention to them. Mrs. Picton-Jones and two servants watched them for an hour and a half, and had, from their description, a better view than we had, as we were occasionally in hollows. On our way home from Bryntani farm we saw a bright light at Yoke House, which we all thought was a lamp put out to direct us home, the night being so dark and our course across country. The other servants by this time, having come home from church and chapel, were watching the curious antics of the lights.

I should mention that we had a lamp with us, but it was darkened, except when we came to banks or ditches. Those at Yoke House saw the same light, and thought it was our lamp, but were all mistaken, as, when we got within about 200 yards of our pond, the light turned into a deep blue colour and disappeared. In front of the other pool there are some sheds, and one light that had appeared before we started seemed to go in and out, round the corner, on to the cart horse stable, round its gable end, then on to the barn, exactly the same as if it were a human being, with the exception of rising to such a height that even 'Tall Agrippa' could not come up to it. Their movements and the distance which they spread were the same as described before. Our house is about three-quarters of a mile from the Cardigan Bay, and the promontory is about seven miles as the crow flies. Last night they did not appear, but we saw several flashes of lightning. — I am, sir, your obedient servant, G. T. Picton-Jones." (Cambrian News).

From "Bye-Gones," March, 1875 (p. 210).

"Having read the account by Mr. Picton-Jones of the strange lights seen by him near Pwllheli, I beg to say that I witnessed a very similar phenomenon on the marshy ground near Borth. Some five or six years ago,
owing to an accident on the Cambrian Railway, I had to post from Machynlleth to the neighbourhood of Towyn, where I was then residing. It would then be about 12 o'clock p.m. when I came in sight of the low ground and sandy dunes between Borth and the Dovey, the night being perfectly clear and still and the stars shining, when, to my astonishment, I saw four or five lights moving apparently on the sand hills near the farm of Ynyslas. I called the post-boy's attention to them, and never did I see a man so paralysed with fright: I thought he would have fallen off the box, and the perspiration, as I could see by the light of the lamps, fairly ran down his face. He evidently considered them of supernatural origin, as he told me an incoherent story of a boat's crew of shipwrecked foreigners having been murdered when they came ashore there many years ago (upon further inquiry I found there was some tradition of the sort). However, there the lights were, moving about in a sort of aimless way until, as near as I can remember, we reached within a mile or two of Aberdovey.

They were white, and about the size and brilliancy of the lamps
carried by railway guards and porters. There is yet another phenomenon of which no satisfactory explanation has ever yet been given. On the 24th of September, 1854 (I refer to my game book of that year), a friend was shooting with me in Herefordshire. The day was perfectly still, the sky cloudless, when sounds like discharges of heavy artillery came from the west, which, striking against a range of wooded hills running north and south under which we were shooting, made most wonderfully distinct echoes. These discharges, or whatever they were, continued for several hours at regular intervals of about two minutes. Since then similar sounds have been heard two or three times (judging from the letters to the papers), and principally by persons living in Cardiganshire, but their origin has never yet, so far as I can see, been discovered."

From "Bye-Gones," October, 1877 (p. 292).

Now we have a statement from Towyn that within the last few weeks lights of various colours have frequently been seen moving over the estuary of the Dysynni river and out at sea. They are generally in a northern direction, but sometimes they hug the shore, and move at a very high velocity for miles towards Aberdovey, and suddenly disappear."

The following paragraph is taken from the Western Mail of March 13th, 1905:

Mysterious lights were seen in Wales before this year of revival. Here is an old extract: 1694. Apr. 22. 'A fiery exhalation rising out of the sea opened itself in Montgomeryshire a furlong broad and many miles in length, burning all straw, hay, thatch, and grass, bat doing no harm to trees, timber, or any solid things, only firing
barns or thatched houses. It left such a taint on the grasse as to kill all the cattle that eate of it. I saw the attestations in the hands of the sufferers. It lasted many months.' From Memoirs of Evelyn (1819 edition). Also in the Powys-Land Papers for 1883."

Extract from Pennant's Tour in Wales, Vol. II., p. 372, ed. 1810:

Winter of 1694. — A pestilential vapour resembling a weak blue flame arose during a fortnight or three weeks out of a sandy, marshy tract called Morfa Byden, and crossed over a channel of 8 miles to Harlech. It set fire on that side to 16 ricks of hay and 2 barns, one filled with hay, the other with corn. It infected the grass in such a manner that cattle, etc., died, yet men eat of it with impunity. It was easily dispelled: any great noise, sounding of horns, discharging of guns, at once repelled it. Moved only by night, and appeared at times, but less frequently; after this it disappeared."

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