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This Day in History

World History

Saturday, December 7, 1782. :   A flying haystack, accompanied by fire and smoke, is reported in Banbury, England.

     Through the ages there have been many reports of unusual flying objects, dubbed UFOs, or Unidentified Flying Objects. Many times, the incidents can be explained as weather balloons, military exercises and even natural phenomena.

On 7 December 1872, an unusual UFO was reported in Banbury, England. A haystack was seen flying through the air on an irregular course, emitting fire and dense smoke. Witnesses stated that at least 17 trees were uprooted and another 36 damaged, a long stone wall was felled as it flew past, whilst a shack was also disassembled.

Prior to the appearance of the fiery flying haystack, the skies were heavily overcast, leading to a sudden downpour. Lightning flashed, whereupon appeared the flying haystack, making a noise rather like a whistling steam train, travelling irregularly, sometimes high and sometimes low. A strong "sulphurous" smell was noted, which is often connected to ozone and nitrogen oxides, created by the effect of electricity on air. The object appeared to continue for around a mile and a half, when it suddenly disappeared.

Meteorologist, Mr Thomas Beesley of Banbury, visited the area and concluded that the haystack fireball was due to a tornado that swept through the area. It was believed that the appearance of fire came from the friction of tree branches as they were propelled through the air at a terrific speeds.

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