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No. 81: May-Jun 1992

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Four Luminous Spinning Vortices

July 21, 1991. The following observations were made by D. and E. Haines, about 11 PM, after they had just passed through the village of Hill Deverill, Wiltshire, England:

"We saw what looked like the reflection of the moon from the driver's window (i.e. we were looking in a westerly to south-westerly direction), and, as we travelled on, it then looked like four beams of a high-powered torch, but, as we went still further and were more or less alongside, we could see it was in fact four swirling shapes, shining white (not very bright, but bright against the night sky). We turned off the car engine and could hear a whooshing noise (like a car a distance away, going fast on a motorway -- but the sound did not come any closer). The national grid reference was ST 866392 approximately.

"These four spinning shapes (like the top of a cotton bud -- not dense and solid) went round and round in a clockwise direction. They came together in the middle, out and round and round. They did this several times (once, one went off to the right but came back into 'formation'), and then they came back together and just disappeared."

(Haines, David, and Haines, Elaine; "An Observation of Four Luminous Spinning Vortices, 21 July 1991," Journal of Meteorology, U.K., 17:24, 1992.)

Comment. Could the controversial crop circles, common in Wiltshire, be related to these luminous objects, or are they all hoaxes?

From Science Frontiers #81, MAY-JUN 1992. 1992-2000 William R. Corliss