Strange lights over Maghera

“On Sunday, November 16, 1707, after a frosty morning and a fair still day, wind north-westerly, about half after eight in the evening there appeared a very strange light in the north of the parish of Maghera. The evening was clear and star light, only the horizon was darkened with condensing vapours in the north, reaching about ten or fifteen degrees above the horizon. Out of this cloud proceeded several streams or rays of light, like tails of some comets, broad below and ending in points above. Some of them extended almost to the tail of Ursa minor, and all were nearly perpendicular to the horizon, and it was as bright as if the moon had been rising in the clouds. But what was most remarkable was the motion of the dark and lighter parts, running strangely through one another in a moment, sometimes to the east and sometimes to the west. It continued, after it was first seen about a quarter of an hour, often changing its face and appearance as to light, sometimes broken, sometimes entire, with long rays of light in the clear sky, quite separate from and above the cloud and none below in the cloud. This account was given by Mr. Neve of Magherafelt, under the head of “Northern Streaming” in a Natural History of Ireland, by several hands, published in Dublin, in the year 1726; no tradition of it has been preserved here.”

 

Reverend John Graham, 1813.

 

A Statistical Account or Parochial survey of Ireland. Parish of Maghera, William Shaw Mason, et al., Grainsberry and Campbell, 1814

 

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