Home Page Science Frontiers

No. 80: Mar-Apr 1992

Issue Contents

Other pages

Other Interesting Sites











Unidentified Light

Strange optical phenomenon seen off the coast of Trinidad
Strange optical phenomenon seen off the coast of Trinidad in 1991.
January 13, 1991. Caribbean Sea. Aboard the m.v. Trinidad and Tobago.

"At 0210 UTC whilst the ship was proceeding eastwards along the north coast of Trinidad, a relatively bright patch was noticed in the almost cloudless sky and was thought to be a cluster of stars. Its bearing was approximately 300 at an elevation of about 50, and closer inspection through binoculars revealed a rather strange phenomenon, as shown in the sketch.

"The bright patch was a perfect circle of a bright, light-blue colour and was transparent as stars could be seen through it. There was also a trail from the circle which looked like the track a disc would describe if it moved through an arc. This trail was also of light-blue colouration but was not nearly so bright as the circle. The entire phenomenon dissipated after about five minutes."

(Knight, M.; "Unidentified Light," Marine Observer, 62:22, 1992.)

From Science Frontiers #80, MAR-APR 1992. 1992-2000 William R. Corliss

Science Frontiers Sourcebook Project Reviewed in:


  • "A sourcebook of unexplained phenomena is therefore a valuable addition to a collection of scientific literature. William R. Corliss has provided this in the past with his source books of scientific anomalies in several subjects, and now he has provided it for astronomy. He has done an excellent job of collecting and editing a large amount of material, taken in part from scientific journals and in part from scientific reporting in the popular or semi-scientific press." -- "The Mysterious Universe: A Handbook of Astronomical Anomalies", reviwed by Thomas Gold, Cornell University, in Icarus, vol.41, 1980

  • "An interesting, systematic presentation of unusual weather [..] This book is recommended for a general audience" --"Corliss, William R., Tornados, Dark Days, Anomalous Precipitation, and Related Weather Phenomena, Sourcebook Project, 1983.", revieweed in Choice, September 1983
  • "..the science is necessarily somewhat speculative, but Corliss's symthesis is based on reputable sources." -- "Corliss, William R. (Compiler). Lightning, Auroras, Nocturnal Lights, and Related Luminous Phenomena" reviwed by Joseph M. Moran, Univ. of Wisconsin in Science Books and Films, Sep/Oct 1983

  • "Before opening the book, I set certain standards that a volume which treads into dangerous grounds grounds like this must meet. The author scrupulously met, or even exceeded those standards. Each phenomenon is exhaustively documented, with references to scientific journals [..] and extensive quotations" -- "Book Review: The moon and planets: a catalog of astronomical anomalies", The Sourcebook Project, 1985., Corliss, W. R., Journal of the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada, Vol. 81, no. 1 (1987), p. 24., 02/1987