For nearly a century, there have been strange sightings of people flying through the air, or hovering anyway. Now, I'm not talking about Superman, but rather groups of people on floating platforms or rocketmen launching through the sky propelled by jetpacks. I think it's intriguing that these sightings are so very different (and more interesting, in my opinion) than classic flying saucer reports. Fortean Times surveyed these accounts of "aeronauts from the future," or hallucinations, or platforms hanging from zeppelins, or, depending on the year, maybe experimental flying platforms in development. For example, the Hiller VZ-1 Pawnee was built in 1954, but the first report referenced the Fortean Times article is from 1916 (and published decades later as a letter-to-the-editor in the Daily Mirror.) Details after the jump.
From Fortean Times:
Mr AE Whiteland described the unusual sight witnessed by his mother around 1916 or 1917, when she lived in Aldeburgh, Suffolk. One day she had gone upstairs, looked out the window, when "at a height of about 30ft [9m], eight to twelve men appeared, on what seemed to be a round platform with a handrail around it... They were wearing blue uniforms and little round hats, not unlike sailors' hats. She heard no sound from the machine as it came off the nearby marshes. It turned a bit, and went over the railway yard, to disappear behind some houses..."
"Aeronauts from the Future"
The men were holding tightly on to the handrail, which was "brass, and a second rail, also of brass, was at the height of the men's knees. As she was trying so hard to take it all in, she cannot say of what material the platform seemed to be made... Mother says that she kept wondering what was making the thing move, and looked up in the sky and then at the men and then in between their legs to see if there was an engine there in the middle, but she could see nothing there. There was nothing in the middle, just a hollow, with the men around the sides."
The platform was totally silent and moved at about the speed of a running man.
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