According to the 13th century text The King’s Mirror, there happened something once in the borough called Cloera which will also seem marvelous. There is a church dedicated to the memory of a saint named Kiranus.
In this town one Sunday while the populace was at church hearing mass, it befell that an anchor was dropped from the sky as if thrown from a ship, for a rope was attached to it, the anchor dragged along the ground, one of the flukes of the anchor got caught in the arch above the church door.
The people all rushed out of the church and marveled much as their eyes followed the rope upward. They saw a ship with men on board floating before the anchor cable, and soon they saw a man leap overboard and dive down to the anchor as if to release it.
The movements of his hands and feet and all his actions appeared like those of a man swimming in the water. When he came down to the anchor, he tried to loosen it, but the people immediately rushed up and attempted to seize him.
In this church where the anchor was caught, there is a bishop’s throne. The bishop was present when this occurred and forbade his people to hold the man, for, said he, it might prove fatal as when one is held under water.
As soon as the man was released, he hurried back up to the ship, and when he was up the crew cut the rope and the ship sailed away out of sight.
But the anchor has remained in the church since then as a testimony to this event.
The story is remarkably similar to one told by chronicler Gervase of Tilbury around the same time.
Churchgoers were leaving Sunday mass in an unspecified English village and noticed an anchor caught on a tombstone in the graveyard. Attached to the anchor was a rope that stretched up into the clouds. In this version, a man also descended the rope, but the villagers grabbed him. The man then died, apparently due to Earth’s dense, humid air.
Here is yet a 3rd version. Same location as first, some 260 years earlier, Including both Men & Women.
The congregation immediately came out. In the sky, at the other end of the rope, they saw a ship that seemed to be floating on an imaginary ocean. Aboard it, men and women were leaning over the railing, as though watching what was happening at the bottom of the water.
According to an ancient Old Norse manuscript known as Konungs Skuggsja, which literally means King's Mirror, in Latin Speculum regale, something very strange happened in a small village in Ireland back in 950 A.D.
It was Sunday and everyone was attending a mass. A large metal anchor, attached to a rope, descended from the sky. One of its sharply pointed arms caught in the wooden door of the church. The congregation immediately came out.
In the sky, at the other end of the rope, they saw a ship that seemed to be floating on an imaginary ocean. Aboard it, men and women were leaning over the railing, as though watching what was happening at the bottom of the water.
The people of Cloera then saw a sailor jump overboard and dive into the air, which must have been water for him, and around him there was what seemed to be a splash of fire. It was obvious that he wanted to dive down and release the anchor. When he reached the ground, the people rounded him to capture him, but the priest forbade them to touch him, for fear of crime or a sacrilege. The diver did not seem to notice them. He tried to disengage the anchor but his efforts were unsuccessful.
He then rose toward his ship, as though swimming upward. The crew cut the anchor line and the aerial vessel, liberated, sailed out of sight. But the anchor remained fixed in the door for centuries bearing witness to the miracle.
In the manuscript this curious incident is called a miracle, which is logical considering all of the witnesses were very religious. However, could this event be one of the earliest sightings of so called airships that were frequently seen in the skies about 1000 years later?
Up to now, it has been impossible to locate a village called Cloera, but the name could have changed or maybe something was lost in the Gaelic translation.
In his book Early Medieval Ireland 400-1200 the author Daibhi O Croinin's writes about similar incidents that took place in early Medieval Ireland.
The Annals of Ulster, for example, in the year AD 749 report that ships were seen in the air, some said above the monastery of Clonmacnois. Other sources report a similar episode at Teltown, during the reign of Congalach mac Maele Mithig, AD 956, when a ship appeared in the air above a market fair, oenach, and a member of the crew cast a spear down at a salmon below. When he came down to retrieve the spear a man on the ground took hold of him, whereupon the man from above said: Let me go! I'm being drowned!
Congalach ordered that the man be released and he scurried back up to his shipmates, who were all that time looking down, and were laughing together.
Well they might. There is no point in trying to explore the Otherworld with the apparatus and outlook of the science laboratory: flying ships are not subject to the laws of quantum mechanics. The sighting in the small village of Cloera is a little different. Not only did the witnesses actually see other beings, but the aerial vessel also left behind an artifact that might still exist somewhere.