1930 Lucy Evelyn Cheesman (1881–1969) was a British entomologist

Evelyn Cheesman and Strange Flying Lights

In one of her expeditions in the southwest Pacific, the British biologist Evelyn Cheesman witnessed some strange horizontally-flying lights deep in the jungles of New Guinea. This may have been early in the 1930′s, or possibly in the late 1920′s, for she wrote about it in her book The Two Roads of Papua, which was published in 1935.

How is that related to my expeditions on the mainland of Papua New Guinea? The strange lights that the British biologist observed were just a couple of mountain ranges or so north of where I recorded my sightings decades later. It seems very likely that I recorded the same kind of flying lights Cheesman had seen.

Consider what Cheesman wrote:

While at Mondo I witnessed a most curious phenomenon which I could not understand; nor could I later hit upon any satisfactory explanation for it. It was a very close, still evening; thundery conditions, yet no storms . . . It was moreover clear; there were no cotton-wool clouds roving round which is rather a rare occurrence. . .

I spent much time in leaning over the veranda, and gazing across at the flat monotone of jumbled hills against a purple sky. When suddenly I saw a flash of light somewhere below the horizon. It was rather a slow flash, and might have been made with an electric torch by someone with a finger on the
switch to prolong it perhaps four seconds.

. . . in a moment it came again, and this time I counted; yes, about four or five seconds, but that flash had been a little distance away from the first. Flashes continued at intervals.

. . . by no possibility could there be human beings out there using flash-lamps at intervals. . . . I measured my position carefully against the veranda-post . . . and also where the spots appeared, so that in the morning I should have some idea of how far off they were. . . . By daylight I took up precisely the same position on the veranda, and measured off against the post where I had seen the lights the evening before. . . . the flashes had been following a certain ridge of hills. Three ridges are visible one above the other in that direction, the highest one on the horizon. It was on the middle one that this phenomenon appeared, and it seemed as if the flashes must have kept closely to the top of that one ridge. About a week later precisely the same thing occurred. . . .

It may be dismissed at once that the flashes were due to any human agency. Even if they had strong flashlights in their possession there could be no incentive for bushmen to stand at intervals—and I reckoned there would have to be nearly thirty individuals—for two or three miles along a ridge, flashing them where they could not be seen by one another. . . .

I include these details from Cheesman’s book because we need to understand that a scientist has made details notes about these strange flying lights and we need to discover what causes them.


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