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1733, December 5: Boat Seen Sailing up in the Clouds

The Legend:

        In 1733 Lewis Morris, described as "an experienced mining engineer, master of many languages and eminent antiquarian," received a report that a farmer in Peibio, a small town near Holyhead, Anglesey, Wales, had seen a sailing ship flying through the air.

        Morris went to investigate the matter personally, and interviewed the farmer -- William John Lewis -- and his wife separately (both had claimed to have seen the flying ship). The farmer claimed that as he was plowing with his servant boy out in the fields on December 5, 1733, he saw a "ship of 90 tons, rigged like a ketch, with its fore-tack and its pennant and 'antient' flying," an imposing sight as it was coming towards him from up in the sky! The day was "indifferent and cloudy," but the ship was clear as could be in all detail. It approached from the mountains of Snowden, about a quarter mile up from the ground. Lewis called his wife, and she arrived in time to see the ship as it was leaving, having turned back towards Snowden, its pennant lowered to the deck and all its sails furled.

        Morris interviewed the farmer's wife first, then Lewis himself. Neither had any doubt about what they had seen, though the wife was worried about what the neighbors would say if Morris published the story. Lewis' description of the ship was exact in all details; he had been able to clearly see the keel under the boat. The farmer and his wife, as well as the plowboy who wasn't interviewed, had seen a flock of birds encounter and avoid the boat, confirming the animals thought something was there as well. Eventually they lost sight of the ship when a cloud blocked their view.

        Though Morris found all of this fantastic to begin with, Lewis had one more surprise to note: he had seen the such a ship before. Twice before, actually... once ten years earlier, and once twenty years earlier, both in the same area.

        Morris apparently believed Lewis had in fact seen the vehicle in the sky, for he was worried that these unusual sightings might be omens of a great calamity, and investigated to see if any local disasters could be connected to the two earlier sightings. I don't know if he ever found anything along those lines.


        Though I've found several books that mention this event, the earliest I've found is 1947... which is about two-hundred years off from the event it describes. Because of this gap, I'm marking this account as 'Unreliable' until I can find a source for it much closer to the date of the incident to prove it was actually reported then.