The German poet, dramatist, author and scientist Johann Goethe was himself a witness to a strange luminous object.
He was journeying from Frankfurt to Leipzig by stagecoach. At one point the rough uphill track was so treacherous from mud and rain that the passengers were forced to alight and follow on behind, it was then that Goethe suddenly became aware of lights in the ravine below them.
Then, in a ravine on the right hand side of the track, I saw a sort of amphetamine, wonderfully illuminated. In a funnel shaped space there were innumerable little lights shining, ranged step fashion over one another, and they shone so brilliantly that the eye was dazzled.
But the sight was even more confusing because these objects did not keep still, but jumped about here and there, as well as downwards from above, as if they were animated luminous creatures.