In the UFO literature, one of the older cases frequently quoted as the first ever UFO photographs (see Blum, Ralph and Judy, Beyond Earth: Man’s Contact with UFOs, page 45; Vallee, Jacques, Anatomy of a Phenomenon, page 30, for example) happened on August 12, 1883. Jose Bonilla, an astronomer at the Zacatecas Observatory, saw dozens of objects cross the disk of the sun and he photographed some of them. He reported that they seemed to be grouped in formations of fifteen to twenty and appeared at regular intervals. The Blums reported that the photographs showed circular or spindle-shaped objects.
|One of Bonilla's Photographs.|
Over the years, the number of object reported to be seen by Bonilla ranged from 150 to 283 to over 400. He informed other observatories in Mexico City and Puebla but they reported nothing out of the ordinary. The photographs, of course, did prove that he had seen something unusual.
There seemed to be no explanation for the sighting or the photographs until 2011. Researchers at the National Autonomous University in Mexico suggested that the objects were the result of a gigantic comet that nearly hit the Earth. The gravitation pull of the planet caused the break up. Because the objects, ranging in size from a few hundred feet across to some that might have been two or three miles across, were close to the Earth, they were visible only in certain areas much in the way that total solar eclipses are seen in a narrow band. Most of the points of observation were in regions that had few if any astronomical observatories.
Bonilla reported that the objects had a “mistiness” around them and astronomers say that the only objects that have a similar “mistiness” are comets. The conclusion of scientists in Mexico in 2011 was that Bonilla observed and photographed the remnants a comet. It seems to be a reasonable suggestion, but one, at the moment, that is not proven, just likely.
The other point is that had the comet not broken up and had hit the Earth, life, if it survived would have been radically altered. If one or two of the larger fragments had hit, they might be what are called “continent killers.” That means that there would have been widespread damage to the continent where they hit but other parts of the Earth would have survived, thought radically altered as well. In other words, we dodged a bullet that could have wiped out the human race, destroyed much of civilization as it was in 1883, and set back human progress centuries providing the human race survived.
I thought this solution for the sighting and the photographs interesting, if nothing else. It just shows that there are often good explanations for what was once considered to be inexplicable.
And yes, it seems that I’m about four years later on reporting this “breaking news.”