FLYING ISLANDS

Comparison of Reports from 1726 and 1959

Report #1
Data: Date: June 26, 1959
Time: 6:45 PM
Place: Boianai, Papua, New Guinea
Conditions: Clear
Witness: William Booth Gill
Reported in:
Australian Flying Saucer Review
Vol. 1, No. 1, Dec 1959
 
"I came out of the dining room after dinner and casually glanced at the sky with the purpose, I suppose, of seeing Venus. Well, I saw Venus but I also saw this sparkling object which was to me peculiar because it sparkled, and because it was very, very bright. ...The whole thing was most extraordinary. The fact that we saw what appeared to be human beings on it, I think, is the important thing. It is certainly the important and exciting thing to us. They were not noticeable at first. The object came down at about, I should say, four hundred feet, maybe four hundred and fifty feet, perhaps less, maybe three hundred feet. It is very difficult to judge at that time of night and, not having experience in measuring elevation, it is purely guesswork, but as we watched it men came out from this object, and appeared on the top of it on what seemed to be a deck on top of the huge disk. There were four men in all, occasionally two, then one, then three, then four - we noted the various times that men appeared, and then one, two and three appeared and one and two, and then numbers one, three, four and two and so on. And then later all those witnesses who are quite sure that our records were right ...signed their names as witnesses of what we assume was human activity or beings of some sort on the object itself." 

"Another peculiar thing about it was this shaft of blue light which emanated from what appeared to be the center of the deck. They would bend forward and appear to manipulate something on the deck, and then straighten themselves up occasionally, would turn around in our direction, but on the whole they were interested in something on the deck. Then from time to time this blue light, rather like a thin spotlight, emanated skywards to stay on for a second or two, and then switch off. I recorded the times that we saw that blue light come on and off for the rest of the night. After all that activity it ascended and remained very high." 

"The craft looked like a disk with smaller round superstructures, then again on top of that another kind of superstructure, round, rather like the bridge on a boat. Underneath it had four legs in pairs pointing downward diagonally. These appeared to be fixed, not retractable, and looked the same on the two nights (we observed the phenomenon), rather like tripods. On the second night the pencil beam came on again for a few seconds, twice in succession."

Mr. Gill was questioned concerning the size of the object. He disclaimed ability to make such estimates but said he thought it was thirty-five or forty feet at the bottom, and perhaps twenty feet at the top. He then was asked if he attempted to establish contact with the pilots of the craft.
 
"We did. As one of them seemed to lean over as though over a rail and look down on us, I waved one hand overhead and the figure did the same, as though a skipper on a boat waving to someone on a wharf. I could not see the rail but he seemed to lean over something with his arms over it. We could see him from just below waist up. Ananias, the teacher, waved both hands overhead and the two outside figures waved back with two arms overhead. Then Ananias and I both waved arms and all four figures seemed to wave back. There was no doubt that the movement made by arms was answered by the figures."

When asked about the reaction of the natives at the signal, Gill replied:
 

"Surprised and delighted. Small mission boys called out, and everyone beckoned to invite the beings down but there was no audible response, nor expressions discernible on the faces of the men, rather like players on a football field at night."

Gill was asked if they tried other methods of signaling. He stated they used an electric torch.
 

"Yes, we flashed the light and the object swung like a pendulum, presumably in recognition. When we flashed the light toward it, it hovered, and came quite close toward the ground. We actually thought it was going to land but it did not. We were all very disappointed about that."

 

Report #2:
Date: Unknown
Time: Unknown
Place: Unknown
Conditions: Clear
Witness: Jonathan Swift
Published in 1726
"The Voyage to Laputa: Book Three of Four Books"
From "Travels to Several Remote Nations of the World" (Now known as "Gulliver's Travels")
"The sky was perfectly clear, and the sun so hot, that I was forced to turn my face from it; when all on a sudden it became obscured, as I thought, in a manner very different from what happens by the interposition of a cloud. I turned back and perceived a vast opaque body between me and the sun, moving forwards toward the island (where I stood). It seemed to be about two miles high, and hid the sun six or seven minutes, but I did not observe the air to be much colder, or the sky more darkened, than if I had stood under the shade of a mountain. As it approached nearer over the place where I was, it appeared to be a firm substance, the bottom flat, smooth, and shining very bright from the reflection of the sea below. I stood upon a height about two hundred yards from the shore, and saw this vast body descending almost a parallel with me, at less than an English mile distance. I took out my pocket-perspective, and could plainly discover numbers of people moving up and down the sides of it, which appeared to be sloping, but what those people were doing, I was not able to distinguish."
"...The reader can hardly conceive my astonishment, to behold an island in the air, inhabited by men, who were able (as it should seem) to raise, or sink, or put it into a progressive motion, as they pleased. But not being at that time in a disposition to philosophize upon this phenomenon, I rather chose to observe what course the island would take, because it seemed for a while to stand still. Yet soon after it advanced nearer, and I could see the sides of it, encompassed with several gradations of galleries, and stairs, at certain intervals, to descend from one to the other. In the lowest gallery, I beheld some people fishing with long angling-rods, and others looking on. I waved my cap ...and my handkerchief towards the island; and upon its nearer approach, I called and shouted with the utmost strength of my voice; and then looking circumspectly, I beheld a crowd gathered to that side which was most in my view. I found by their pointing towards me and to each other, that they plainly discovered me, although they made no return to my shouting."

 

COMMENTARY
These two reports are both remarkable in their own right. They describe humanlike creatures occupying strange craft which hover in the air. They are both even more remarkable in that one is a contemporary report on an alien craft while the other is a story buried in a major piece of satirical literature - yet they agree in many details.
GILL SWIFT
Shape of Object
"huge disk" "an island in the air" 
Swift later gives exact dimensions to show it was a huge disk.
Floating In The Air
"hovered" "seemed for a while to stand still"
Motion
"the object swung like a pendulum"
"came quite close toward the ground"
"ascended and remained very high"
"to raise, or sink, or put it into a progressive motion"
Occupants Look Like Human Mortals
"human beings on it"
"there were four men in all"
"numbers of people"
"beheld some people"
"a crowd gathered"

Historic Confirmation

Gen 19:1 Two angels came to Sodom in the evening; and Lot was sitting in the gate of Sodom. When Lot saw them, he rose to meet them, and bowed himself with his face to the earth, 

Heb 13:2 Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers, for thereby some have entertained angels unawares.

Acknowledgment To The Ground Below
"I waved one hand overhead and the figure did the same, as though a skipper on a boat waving to someone on a wharf" "I found by their pointing towards me and to each other, that they plainly discovered me, although they made no return to my shouting."

In neither case do they respond to shouting from the ground below.

Purposeful Activity

"They would bend forward and appear to manipulate something on the deck, and then straighten themselves up occasionally, would turn around in our direction, but on the whole they were interested in something on the deck" In the lowest gallery, I beheld some people fishing with long angling-rods, and others looking on.
Appearance
"it sparkled, and because 
it was very, very bright."
"the bottom flat, smooth, 
and shining very bright "
Structure
"with smaller round superstructures, then again on top of that another kind of superstructure, round, rather like the bridge on a boat" "encompassed with several gradations of galleries, and stairs, at certain intervals, to descend from one to the other"
Astonishment

"The whole thing was most extraordinary"

"The reader can hardly conceive my astonishment"
"not being at that time in a disposition to philosophize upon this phenomenon"

These many items show the amazing strength of the parallels between the two accounts.  Although there are differences in activity, the time of day, and the circumstances, the similarities are striking.

Importantly, the activity seems designed to bring attention to our visitors.  They produced an event which was written indelibly upon the mind of the witness.  Even more, the parallels are so striking that one is led to believe the activities were coordinated over centuries of time to provide these highly illuminating accounts.

The report by Gill can be taken at face value; it is simply the account of an experience contemporary with our own time. The account by Swift cannot be taken at face value. It occurs in a work of satire, always regarded as fiction since it was first published in 1726.

Gill was a graduate of Brisbane University in Queensland, Australia, and ordained as a priest of the Church of England. He had worked on the staff of the Anglican Mission in Papua, New Guinea for thirteen years when the event took place. The phenomenon was observed on several consecutive evenings; thirty-seven witnesses signed affidavits attesting to the event.
 

In light of the fact that many thousands of reports on strange objects in the sky are recognized by official agencies, that many of us have been personal witness or know someone who was a personal witness to such phenomena, that Gill is contemporary to us and does not command interest beyond the unique nature of his report, and that his experience took place with several dozen other witnesses, we may not feel a high degree of interest in Gill himself. However, Swift is a different matter. Who was he? What was his background? How could such an account be written by him and buried in a major work of literary satire?