Sunday, December 14, 2008
from The Annual Register, 1823
M. Doe being surprised by night in the forest near Boulancourt, in the neighborhood of Brienne, department de l'Aube, was witness to a very brilliant luminous phenomenon which took place in a neighbouring marsh. It began about two o'clock in the morning, apparently at one of the openings of the wood on the western side, while the sky was serene, the stars brilliant, and the air calm and temperate. The fire burnt quietly without jets or undulations, in the form of a quadrangular pyramid. The colour of the flame was a pale red, verging on white, and the appearance of the whole like sunset, when it takes place behind a red cloud girt by a dark zone. It was found to be a marsh of half a league in extent, traversed by ditches, which furnished the phosphorous matter of the flame. The greatest height of the luminous matter was 10 or 12 feet; there was no heat, but it was bright enough to read by.