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Windsor Castle, Berkshire, UK - UFO or Meteor? 1783
This illustration depicts a sighting that occurred at 9.45pm on the evening of August 18, 1783 when four witnesses on the terrace of Windsor Castle observed a luminous object in the skies of the Home Counties of England. The illustration has been done following the indications of Thomas Sandby, a founder of the Royal Academy, and his brother Paul, both of whom witnessed the event.
The sighting was recorded the following year in the Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society, who relates what witnesses observed:
"An oblong cloud moving more or less parallel to the horizon. Under this cloud could be seen a luminous object which soon became spherical, brilliantly lit, which came to a halt; this strange sphere seemed at first to be pale blue in colour but then its luminosity increased and soon it set off again towards the East. Then the object changed direction and moved parallel to the horizon before disappearing to the South-East; the light it gave out was prodigious; it lit us everything on the ground."
However, through by a person who took part in a discussion on this case, I received scans of a text obviously of that time, unfortunately without sources, but which tells two very different stories.
The first is a testimony on what appears being the same event, testimony which seems of the far-fetched kind, with evocation of "sulphur mysts", and the phenomenon is described as initially motionless then moving, no duration being indicated.
The second seems to be from the same unknown source, but this time the testimony seems much more precise, and leaves practically no place to the doubt: it was indeed a meteor.
The question is, which account do you believe?