Home Page Science Frontiers

No. 92: Mar-Apr 1994

Issue Contents

Other pages

Other Interesting Sites











Unidentified Light

Unidentified light seen in sky

January 14, 1993. Eastern North Pacific. Aboard the m.v. B.P. Adventure, Panama to Chiba.

"At 0235 UTC the phenomenon shown in the sketch was first seen about 15 above the horizon, bearing 265. It was initially thought to be a downward pointing spotlight from an aircraft: it was bright (nearly white), conical in shape and about 1 high. During further observation the shape slowly enlarged, becoming more bell-shaped with a darker elliptical patch at the bottom. As it increased in size, the shape faded away and moved slowly towards the horizon in a slightly southerly direction before disappearing just above the horizon at 0254, bearing 260.

"The maximum height reached by the shape was about 5 and throughout the observation stars could be seen through it while at one point it was nearly obscured by cloud of which there was 1 okta. The only other bright object nearby was Venus, being slightly higher and to the south, bearing 248, elevation about 20. Visibility was excellent as about 10 minutes after the observation a ship was spotted bearing 280 at a distance of 16 n.mile. The observers felt that the shape was too regular to be a cloud and had no real idea of its origins."

(Peacock, K.E.; "Unidentified Light," Marine Observer, 64:17, 1994.)

From Science Frontiers #92, MAR-APR 1994. 1994-2000 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