Thursday, March 20, 2008

A phenomenon observed


The weather was intensely cold, snow was lying after a fall some days previously. The sky was dull grey, with “rusty” clouds hanging rather low, the sun just showing itself, and the air was perfectly still. On a day in the month of January 1871, a lady residing at Park Place, Remenham, observed the following phenomenon shortly before noon.

The wall paper and furniture of the room in which the lady was sitting were suddenly flushed with rose colour, which gradually deepened into crimson, pacing through bright gold into orange, lilac and deep violet. It was then seen that from the centre of the level space of snow within view, a group of air bubbles, of the shape and apparent size of the coloured India rubber balls sold in the streets, rose to a considerable height and then began to move up and down within a limited area, and at an equal distance from each other, some ascending others descending.
The appearance lasted about two minutes, at the expiration of which the balls were carried away by a current of wind to the eastward and disappeared. Another group of balls arose subsequently from the same spot, and the phenomena were precisely reproduced.

It was remarked that the balls assumed in succession the tints which had been observed on the walls of the room. The appearance was also witnessed by a maid servant, who, on entering the room, at once exclaimed, “Oh, look at those little balls going up and down.”

The above particulars were noted down immediately after a conversation with the lady who saw the bubbles, but she had frequently referred to the matter previously. Though rather advanced in years, she is in full possession of her faculties and is rather unusually keen and observant.

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