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Date:Summer 1873 or November 20, 1873
Place:Bonham, Texas

" the New York Times, July 6, 1873 [2], the writer of General Notes tells of something that he considered "the very worst case of delirium tremens on record." This was before my time. He copied from the Bonham (Texas) Enterprise [1], that a few days before the time of writing, a man living 5 or 6 miles from Bonham, had told of having seen something like an enormous serpent, floating over his farm; and that other men working in the fields had seen the thing and had been frightened. I suppose that, equally delirious, inhabitants of the backwoods of China, would similarly describe one of this earth's airships floating over their farms. I don't know that this one account, considered alone, amounts to anything, ..." [3]

"Turning back to the old reports, I skipped through until I found the American sightings. One of the first was an incident at Bonham, Texas, in the summer of 1873."

"It was broad daylight when a strange, fast-moving object appeared in the sky, southwest of the town. For a moment, the people of Bonham stared at the thing, not believing their eyes. The only flying device then known was the drifting balloon. But this thing was tremendous, and speeding so fast its outlines were almost a blur."

"Terrified farmers dived under their wagons. Towns-people fled indoors. Only a few hardy souls remained in the streets. The mysterious object circled Bonham twice, then raced off to the east and vanished. Descriptions of the strange machine varied from round or oval to cigar-shaped. (The details of the Bonham sighting were later confirmed for me by Frank Edwards, Mutual Network newscaster, who investigated this case.)" [4]

1873: A luminous disc makes three turns above the village of BonHam (Texas) and goes away. [5]

Antonio Ribeira indicates that in the summer of 1873, a "fantastic object" appeared in the sky of Bonham, Texas, it circle twice over the city and disappeared. [6]

"1873, USA, Texas, Bonham: A huge cigar-shaped object swooped low over the town of on two occasions and in broad daylight. It then disappeared quickly to the east." [7]

Christiane Piens indicates that on November 20, 1873, a luminous disc performed three circles around Bonham and flew away. [8]

Michel Bougeard indicates that at the beginning of July [1873] in Bonham, Texas, the cotton growers are frightened by a shining object; which dives on them. "This silvery snake plunged and took again altitude on several occasions." A horses carriage is panicked and the driver is thrown under the wheels and is killed. Michel Bougeard notes that the New York Times for July 6 which mentions the event states that "it is undoubtedly the biggest case of delirium tremens ever recorded", and asks who they are kidding. [9]

"In 1873 at Bonham, Texas, workers in a cotton field suddenly saw a shiny, silver object that came streaking down from the sky at them. Terrified, they ran away, while the great silvery serpent, as some people described it, swung around and dived at them again. A team of horses ran away, the driver was thrown beneath the wheels of the wagon and killed." [10]

"In June of 1873, a farmer in Bonham, Texas, USA, looked up from his work and was astonished at what he saw. There appeared to be an enormous flying snake, banded with brilliant yellow stripes, writhing and twisting in the sky above him. Other people in the Bonham vicinity also witnessed this strange apparition, which was said to be at least as long as a telegraph pole. According to a report in the local newspaper, Enterprise, the bewildered eyewitnesses watched the creature coil itself up, and thrust forward its enormous head as if striking at something." [11]

"Another Internet article titled "Serpents in the Sky," goes into greater detail about the "sighting." It related that it was in broad daylight when the fast moving object appeared in the sky southwest of town. The people of Bonham first stared at it, not believing their eyes. They possibly had seen drifting balloons previously, but this was so large and traveling so fast that it was almost a blur, according to the article. Farmers were said to have dived under their wagons and townspeople ran inside. Only a few of the braver stood their ground and watched. It circled Bonham twice, then vanished. Its description varied by whom you talked to. Some said it was round, and others said oval to cigar-shaped." [12]


  • [1] Article in the newspaper "Bonham Enterprise", 1873, according to [2].
  • [2] "General Notes", Article in the New York Times, page 1 c.4. July 6, 1873, according to [3].
  • [3] "Lo!", book by Charles Fort, 1934
  • [4] "The flying saucers are real", book by Donald Keyhoe, 1950.
  • [5] "Le livre noir des soucoupes volantes", book by Henri Durrant, Robert Laffont publisher, page 64, 1976.
  • [6] "Ces mystérieux OVNIS", book by Antonio Ribeira, De Vechi publisher, page 449, 1976.
  • [7] Text appearing on numerous websites on the Internet.
  • [8] "Les Ovni du passé", book by Christiane Piens, Marabout publisher, page 88, 1977.
  • [9] "La Chronique des OVNIS", book by Michel Bougeard, France-Loisir publisher, page 136, 1977.
  • [10] "Vimana Aircraft of Ancient India and Atlantis", book by David Childress, introduction by Ivan T. Sanderson, Adventures Unlimited Press publisher, 1992.
  • [11] On the Internet at
  • [12] "Trying to explain the 'unexplained'", article by Donna Hunt in the newspaper "Denison Herald Democrat", February 10, 2005.
Notes:Insufficient and contradictory information, original source not found yet.
Explanation:Journalist at the time cited the story as one example of delirium tremens.


Type of report:Second hand from local newspaper.
Number of witnesses:1 or more
Number of named witnesses:0.
Witnesses occupations:Not indicated.
Type of location:Not indicated.
Coordinates:Lat. 33.58 Lon. -96.18
Coordinates precision:10 kilometers.
Description of "UFO":Serpent. Snake. Insufficient description.
Description of "manoeuvers":Manoeuvers. Circles. Dive.
Reactions:Frightened. Fled.
Occupants keywords:N/A
Weather:Not indicated.
Observation devices:None.
Strangeness:Insufficient information.
Explanation(s) at the time:Alcohol.

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This page was last updated on January 24, 2006