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URECAT - UFO Related Entities Catalog

URECAT is a formal catalog of UFO related entities sightings reports with the goal of providing quality information for accurate studies of the topic. Additional information, corrections and reviews are welcome at patrick.gross@inbox.com, please state if you wish to be credited for your contribution or not. The main page of the URECAT catalog is here.

June 1932, Wattsburg, Pennsylvania, USA, Reuben Knight and his wife:

Brief summary of the event and follow-up:

This case appeared for the first time as an "entity" case in the INTCAT catalogue by British "skeptical" ufologist Peter Rogerson in the 2010's.

Rogerson said that in June 1932, late in the evening, in Wattsburg, Pennsylvania, USA, farmer Reuben Knight went onto the porch of his farm, 5 km from Wattsburg, when he observed a bright speck of light emerge from out of the scrub 400 meters to the south. It appeared to grow in size as it advanced towards him, coming within 1.2 meter. It now appeared as a blue sphere, 35 cm in diameter. It circled him and returned to the woods on a steady course at 55-65 km/h. After being in the woods 6 to 8 seconds it re-emerged and performed the same manoeuvres. Reuben called his wife, who saw the sphere when it performed for a third time

No ufologist had previously considered this report - made by the witness in a letter to NICAP in 1965 - as an "entity" report, and nobody, skeptical or not, although the witness did mention that he had first thought of some natural phenomenon, thought that it might have been ball lightning.

Basic information table:

Case number: URECAT-001662
Date of event: June 1932
Earliest report of event: August 2, 1965
Delay of report: 3 decades.
Witness reported via: Witness letter to NICAP ufology group.
First alleged record by: Witness letter in NICAP file (not as CE3).
First certain record by: Ufology book (not as CE3).
First alleged record type: Ufology group witness reports file (not as CE3).
First certain record type: Ufology book (not as CE3).
This file created on: August 19, 2018
This file last updated on: August 19, 2018
Country of event: USA
State/Department: Pennsylvania
Type of location: Outside on home porch near Wattsburg.
Lighting conditions: Night or evening.
UFO observed: Yes
UFO arrival observed: Yes
UFO departure observed: Yes
UFO/Entity Relation: N/A
Witnesses numbers: 2
Witnesses ages: Your adults or adults.
Witnesses types: Farmer couple.
Photograph(s): No.
Witnesses drawing: No.
Witnesses-approved drawing: No.
Number of entities: 0 or 1
Type of entities: Luminous ball.
Entities height: 35 cm.
Entities outfit type: None.
Entities outfit color: N/A.
Entities skin color: Luminous blue.
Entities body: Sphere.
Entities head: None.
Entities eyes: None.
Entities mouth: None.
Entities nose: None.
Entities feet: None.
Entities arms: None.
Entities fingers: None.
Entities fingers number: None.
Entities hair: None.
Entities voice: None heard.
Entities actions: Came from the woods, made 3 loops near witness and went back into the woods, three times.
Entities/witness interactions: None.
Witness(es) reactions: Observed, called wife.
Witness(es) feelings: Not reported.
Witness(es) interpretation: Some natural phenomenon not explained yet, later: flying saucer related.
Explanation category: Probable ball lightning.
Explanation certainty: Medium.

Narratives:

[Ref. ld1:] GORDON I. R. LORE Jr., AND HAROLD H. DENNEAULT, Jr.:

Scientists looking for a challenging brain-teaser are invited by Reuben D. Knight and his wife to account for what they thought might be "some natural phenomenon that has not been explained yet." The phenomenon appears to be of the unnatural variety seen at Rolling Prairie, Indiana, in 1904.

Were it not for the repeated appearances of the "lights" in farming sections of the United States, some might attribute the following account to an over-stimulated imagination. Mr. Knight said the eerie event took place in 1932, on a farm 18 miles south of Erie, Pennsylvania, and three miles from Wattsburg, Pennsylvania.

"One June evening, after supper, I went onto the porch and stood looking across the meadow, enjoying the cool, quiet evening, at dusk, when there appeared out of the scrub woods 400 yards to the south, a bright speck of light, which appeared to advance toward me. It grew in size and came up within four feet of where I stood. It was about eye level, a brilliant blue ball, about 14 inches in diameter. It traveled in a loop when near me and went back into the woods, proceeding (on) a steady path, at about 35 or 40 miles per hour.

"Having disappeared in the woods for about six or eight seconds, it came again and followed the original route, up to me and looped away again. I called my wife ... and the silvery ball came again. When it had gone, we waited for it to return but it did not come back. Then I asked my wife, 'What did you see?' And she said, 'A ball of light came and went away.'

"The object... was perfectly round; it did not seem to illuminate objects around it nor did it give off heat...

"We never spoke of this to anyone (except my wife described it to our daughter). We did not try to explain it and did not connect it with the 'flying saucer' craze of later years. . . . I am no scientist but now I am convinced there is a direct relationship between what we saw and the so-called 'flying saucers.'"

Mr. Knight seemed positive that the UFO had been weightless, and "not of any solid or metallic substance." 34

The source "34" is referenced in the footnotes as a report on file in the NICAP file.

[Ref. pr1:] PETER ROGERSON:

June 1932 Late evening.

WATTSBURG (PENNSYLVANIA : USA)

Farmer Reuben Knight went onto the porch of his farm, from 5km from Wattsburg, when he observed a bright speck of light emerge from out of the scrub 400m to the south. It appeared to grey in size as it advanced towards him, coming within 1.2m. It now appeared as a blue sphere 35cm in diameter. It circled him and returned to the woods on a steady course at 55-65kph. After being in the woods 6 to 8 seconds it re-emerged and performed the same manoeuvres . Reuben called his wife, who saw the sphere when it performed for a third time

Lore and Deneault 1969 p 109 + Clark 1998 p 931 citing letter from Knight to NICAP 2 August 1965

Points to consider:

The reason why Peter Rogerson made this observation that of an "entity" escapes me a little, I have the feeling that if "proponents" had done that, they would have been mocked. But I am willing to admit that an interpretation in terms of an "entity" cannot be formally excluded.

Yet, I am also amazed that nobody seems to have thought of a ball lightning event. The appearance and the size match. Sadly, it lacks essential data to go further: we do not know if the weather was stormy or not, and we do not know the duration of the three passages of the ball.

But we do have some striking information suggestive ball lightning:

It should be noted that the most primary source does not say that the ball "circled" the witness, the latter only said that it "traveled in a loop when near me".

List of issues:

Id: Topic: Severity: Date noted: Raised by: Noted by: Description: Proposal: Status:
-

Evaluation:

Probable ball lightning.

Sources references:

* = Source I checked.
? = Source I am told about but could not check yet. Help appreciated.

Document history:

Authoring

Main Author: Patrick Gross
Contributors: None
Reviewers: None
Editor: Patrick Gross

Changes history

Version: Created/Changed By: Date: Change Description:
0.1 Patrick Gross August 19, 2018 Creation, [ld1], [pr1].
1.0 Patrick Gross August 19, 2018 First published.

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This page was last updated on August 19, 2018.