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velkommen

Welcome. This is my blog, and you're my most coveted guest. If I seem a bit too intense, it's only because I have so much that I want to share with you, and I can see that you're eager to begin as well. So, please...make yourself at home, sip an East India cocktail (I blended the pomegranate juice myself), and sample some of my domestic and imported Arcana: useless, but fascinating information about Victoriana, Steampunk and other favoured topics; music which evokes that dark, lost Lenore sensibility; and other pleasant or, perhaps, unsettling non sequiters whispered in a darkened room. Linger long or short, leave a comment or refrain, but remember to come back soon to play a (shhhh) parlour game.
Velkommen. Dette er min blog, og du er min mest eftertragtedegæst. Hvis jeg synes en smule for intenst, det er kunfordi jeg har så meget at jeg vil dele med jer, og jeg kanse, at du er ivrig efter at begynde så godt. kan du ...føl dig hjemme, sip et East India cocktail (jeg blandetden granatæble juice mig selv), og prøve nogle af mine indenlandske o importerede Arcana: ubrugelig, menfascinerende oplysninger om Victoriana, Steampunkog andre begunstigede emner; musik der fremkalderdenne mørke, mistede Lenore sensibilitet, og andrebehagelige eller måske foruroligende, ikke sequitershviskede i et mørkelagt rum. Linger lang eller kort,efterlade en kommentar eller afstå, men husk at komme tilbage snart til at spille en (Shhhh) selskabsleg.

ABOUT ME

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I love my grown children, miss all the dogs I ever had, and I cry at the drop of a hat, I believe in true love, destiny, fairness, and compassion. If I could be anywhere right now, it would be the ocean. My favorite city is New York, but I am always longing for London and craving more time in Copenhagen. I'm drawn to desolate places, deserted buildings, and unknown byways. I don't care how society perceives me as long as my gut tells me that what I'm doing is right. I am interested in paranormal things, spiritual things, historical things, and things that glow at night. I like to drink, I smoke when I write, I can't stand small talk, and despite my quick temper, I would rather kiss than fight. I'm selfish with my writing time, a spendthrift with my love. My heart has been broken so many times that it's held together with super glue and duct tape. The upside is that, next time, I won't be tempted to give away what I no longer have to give. But I will let you buy me a Pink Squirrel.

Fuldmane

Fuldmane
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Helvede's så Nocturne

Helvede's så Nocturne
The raw, aching sadness with which the following words were typed has been reformatted to fit your screen. No need to adjust it. All names have been expunged to protect the innocent and the willfully insane.

Nocturne in G Flat major

Chopin, darkness, light, sand and wind, starlight tread. Beethoven, love, fear, madness, redemption in the night. Liszt, waltzing widows, desperate bargains, pleasure's secret plight. Now, then, before, always, forever. Promises made on lonely beaches, celestial summer's perfect kiss, passions quenched in salty breezes, the lure of distant mist-draped heights. Bitter interlude. Final, private nocturne. Burned down like a candle. Doomed bleeding beauty. Fated sacrificial night.
To be continued...

Gentle Visitor

Gentle Visitor
And now, Gentle Visitor, won't you please lend an eye (we've worked so hard)...
STATEMENT OF PURPOSE
We love all things dark and mysterious, macabre and obscure, odd and unfathomable. Nothing is too strange or bizarre for our little blog. And although we would never presume to offer definitive answers to the great questions of life, we shall do our best to enlighten, inform and delight our visitors with our whimsical potpurri of facts, anecdotes, trivia and informational outpourings. We strive not to offend, but to edify those who wish to reach beyond their comfort zone and touch the fabric of another time and place, and of distant, but genuine worlds and lives. As Victorian-themed blogs go, ours may not be the most austere, nor the most comprehensive, but we know what we like, and if our readers like it as well, then all is as it should be in this ramshackle corner of our own personal Victorian empire.

A Musical Note

A Musical Note: We feel that our blog is best viewed when accompanied by one or more of the following musical selections. Then again, we also feel that our blog is best viewed when accompanied by a glass of absinthe, a bite of lemon cake, and a foot massage (preferably by someone you know). So, to paraphrase the otherwise completely irrelevant-to-our-blog Mr. Aleister Crowley, "Do what thou wilt...but be open to Chopin."
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And now we begin

And now we begin
"One must strive to show decorum even when scrolling." Queen Victoria, Buckingham Palace Blog, August 11,1879

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Sunday, March 3, 2013

MYSTERIOUS OBJECTS IN VICTORIAN SKIES



We don't know what you've been doing lately, but at least a portion of our time has been spent trying to keep up with all of the UFO sightings being reported from all over the world. We've always had a firm interest in ufology, as well as the paranormal, but the recent spate of reports involvings strange glowing objects in the sky has us in a bit of a dither. Perhaps we should stop listening to Coast to Coast AM on the radio when we're writing late at night. Then again, if the conspiracy theorists are right, and there really is something going on that the government knows about but isn't telling us, we prefer to be as informed as possible. Especially since UFO sightings are nothing new. We may be hearing about them more often now thanks to the wonders of modern technology, but accounts of luminescent objects traversing the night sky have been around for as long as humankind has wandered this planet. Bear witness to the following example...


On October 19, 1865, subscribers to the St. Louis Democrat were rivited by the report of a Montana fur trapped called James Lumley, who claimed to have seen a UFO fly over him and crash into the forest where it exploded in flames. The same story appeared in the Cincinnati Commercial two weeks later after which it ran in a number of other newspapers, sparking a flurry of national interest in the UFO phenomenon. But did Lumley actually see a UFO? According to the veteran fur trapper, he was about 175 miles above the Upper Missouri in Great Falls, Montana, on his way back to camp for the night, when he saw a "bright luminous body in the heavens" traveling in an easterly direction. Lumley estimated that the object remained visible for about five seconds before it burst into flames and crashed into the trees below. Lumley claimed that he heard an explosion after the object fell and that, following the explosion, a strong wind whipped through the forest like a tornado and left the air smelling of sulpher.


The next day, Lumley discovered a path in the forest that was about "two rods wide." Following the path, he came upon an object stuck in the side of the mountain. The object appeared to actually be a stone, but it contained glass and was inscribed with hieroglyphics. Lumley had the impression that the object had come from another object of "immense size" and that the hieroglyphics were made by human hands. But despite the interest that his account generated when it appeared in newspapers, no real effort seems to have been made to locate the strange object. It might even still be there, stuck in the side of the mountain, waiting to be found.


An equally fascinating account of a 19th century UFO sighting occurred near Adamstown in Lancaster Country, Pennsylvania on August 14, 1869. The following account is taken directly from the Lancaster Express.

"About two hundred yards north of the village is an open lot, and at 12 0'clock, while the villagers were taking dinner, a luminous body was seen to settle near the centre {sic} of this lot. It is represented by four or five different parties, who witnessed it from several points, to have assumed a square shape and shooting up into a column about three or four feet in height and about two feet in thickness. The sun was shining brightly at the time, and under its rays, the object glittered like a column of burnished silver. The presence, after reaching its full effulgence, gradually faded away, and in ten minutes time it had entirely disappeared. Those who saw it were unable to tell what it was. It seemed to inspire terror rather than admiration. After it had disappeared a number of persons visited the spot, but not a trace of anything unusual could be found. Similar objects have been seen in the neighborhood on several occasions during the night time, but none before in the day time, or so bright as this. The land in the immediate vicinity is dry, there being no swamp about, otherwise the phenomenon might be accounted for. We do not know whether the Jack o' Lantern assumes such large proportions or whether it appears in midday under a bright sun. Perhaps some of our friends versed in the sciences can solve the mystery."

Obviously, the reporter's hope that the mystery would be solved by "friends versed in the sciences" was never realized since the case is one of thousands of similar cases that remain unsolved. As does our next example, which comes from the files of the Mutual UFO Network (MUFON) in which an unnamed woman recalls the day that her father encountered not only a UFO but its occupants.


The alleged encounter took place sometime in the late 1800's in Logansport, Indiana, although the woman interviewed by MUFON was unable to provide the exact date or time. According to her account, she was ten years old when her father, a farmer in Logansport, came home one day after working in the fields three miles away with a strange story to tell. Normally, the woman explained, she was in the habit of taking lunch to her father and grandfather when they were working in the fields, but on that particular day, she was ill and not allowed to carry out her usual task. Instead, her father returned home for lunch with an excited air and told her that she had "really missed something", then began describing how he and the other workers had noticed a large "flying machine that didn't make any noise" hovering above the field. As her father and the other men continued to watch it, the machine landed and "little people" emerged from inside. Apparently oblivious or unconcerned that they were being observed, the strange beings helped themselves to some ears of corn and soil, then got back inside the craft and flew away. Terrified by what they had witnessed, the men hid in the woods for several hours before they finally found the courage to start for home. In the MUFON account, the woman claimed that her father had made her promise not to tell anyone else about the sighting for fear that he would become the target of public ridicule. After honoring his request for 80 years, she decided to tell her story in the hope that someone "could do something with it." Unfortunately, the area in which her father supposedly had his encounter is now a designated historical site called "France Park." And as the woman who gave the account passed away in the 1980s, it seems unlikely that anyone will "do something with it" at this point. '


Our last account is probably one of the most famous in the history of ufology. It allegedly took place on May 6, 1897 in the Ouachita Mountains near Hot Springs, Arkanasa. On that night, Constable John J. Sumpter, Jr. and Deputy Sheriff John McLemore were on horseback, investigating reports of cattle rustling in the area when they saw a bright light in the sky which quickly disappeared behind the hilltops ahead of them. As they continued their ride, they encountered the light once more, about two miles from where they had first seen it, but this time it appeared to be descending before it disappeared once again. The two men rode on for another half mile or so when their horses suddenly stopped and refused to move forward. Looking around into the darkness, Sumpter and McLemore saw the shadowy figures of people moving around with lights. Dismounting and drawing their guns, they approached the figures, demanding to know who they were and what they were doing. At that point, according to the account, a tall, bearded man holding a lantern stepped forward and explained that he and his two companions were traveling across the country in an airship and invited them to come on board. Sumpter and McLemore declined the invitation, but returned to the site the following night where they were unable to find any trace of the craft or its mysterious occupants. Asked to describe the craft, Sumpter recalled that it was "cigar-shaped" and about 60 feet long. Interestingly, the description fits the powered blimps that became commonplace in the early part of the 20th century, but in 1897, blimps had not yet been invented. Even so, the two lawmen were not the only ones who claimed to have seen such objects. Reports of mysterious "airships" appeared frequently in newspapers throughout the country during that period, although the Ouachita sighting remains the most well-known.

And so what did those 19th century witnesses really see? It would be easy to say "we'll never know", but, then again, perhaps we will. The glowing objects that lit up skies in the 1800s and in earlier centuries before may turn out to be the same ones currently making headlines. Some mysteries may never be solved, but when it comes to UFO's, it seems that we many be getting closer to resolving the mystery every day.

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