Philadelphia: Printed by Wm. F. Geddes, . First edition. Large 8vo (10.63 x 7.13 inches), contemporary tree sheep, viii, 416 pages. 26 numbers. Fragile binding chipped, with the spine rubbed and the loss of about three inches of the spine from the foot, and some cracking along the front joint; sheep peeling a bit; in good condition. Item #20277
“It arose apparently from the neighbourhood of the Schuylkill, and passing over Kensington and the revier Delaware, finally disappeared behind the woods of Jersey. . . . Its motions were rapid, irregular, and wavering, like the fluttering of a kite or the rocking of an air balloon. Its appearance was of a deep red colour, and remarkably brilliant, seemingly about half the size of the moon. It arose until it crossed te Delaware; when it appeared but an inconsiderable speck scarcely discernable, and then descended with astonishing velocity until within a short distance of the horizon, where it remained stationary for a few moments. Suddenly it became exceedingly large and brilliant, sparkles again separated from the main body, and descended as before.” Considered among one of the earlier American UFO sightings, an approx. 225 word accout dated July 11, 1829 and signed in type Aurora, describing a light darting around the sky in an unexplained manner. Contemporary accounts of such phenomena are not common; one thinks inter alia of William Dunbar’s account to Jefferson of the unexplained aerial phenomena of Baton Rouge in 1800 that appeared in the Transactions of the American Philosophical Society vol. 6 Part 1 (Philadelphia, 1804), and Abraham Cummings, who did not publish his seeming 1806 encounter with an extraterrestrial until 1826. In any case, a welcome early American Fortean account in a credible Philadelphia journal. An ex-library copy, with the early ink stamps for the U.S. Treasury Department to the title and a few scattered leaves, with their withdrawn stamp over the Treasury Department bookplate on the front pastedown.