The modern era of "flying saucers" began with Kenneth Arnold's 1947 sighting on this date of unidentified flying objects seen flying at supersonic speeds between his plane and Mt. Rainier, Washington. Arnold reported the nine discs then flew off towards Mt. Adams, in the distance.
Knights Templars displayed “Mysterious Head” at Poitiers (1308). Founding of the Order of the Garter (1348). A sudden outbreak of St. John's Dance (1374) caused people in the streets of Aachen, Germany, to experience hallucinations, and jump and twitch uncontrollably until they collapsed from exhaustion. John Cabot discovered North America (1497). Lucrezia Borgia (1439) died. Samuel de Champlain discovered (1603) the mouth of the Saint John River, in New Brunswick, Canada. Galileo released (1633). “Woman of the Wilderness” utopian community arrived in America (1694). “Woman of the Wilderness” angelic visions (1701). Grand Lodge of Freemasons inaugurated (1717) in London. Napoleon's Grande Armée crossed (1812) the Neman River beginning the invasion of Russia. Ambrose Bierce born (1842). Red rain, Italy (1877). Ice fall, Ft. Lyon, Colorado (1877). Fall of jelly-like mass, Eton (1911). Fred Hoyle born (1915).
Filmstock fire killed seventeen people, Brussels (1947). Movie theaters evaluated during huge fire, Perth Amboy, New Jersey (1947). United Airlines plane struck by lightning over Cleveland. Ohio (1947). Invasion of grasshoppers battled with flame-throwers, Guatemala/El Salvador (1947). Woman attacked and killed by bees or wasps, Seattle (1947).
More births of future musicians. Patrick Moraz (Yes, 1948) born. John Illsley (Dire Straits, 1949) born. Astro (UB40, 1957) born. Dennis Danell (Social Distortion, 1961) born. Curt Smith (Tears for Fears, 1961) born. Richard Z. Kruspe (Rammstein, 1967) born.
Bizarre aerial sightings near Daggett, California (1950) and on Iwo Jima (1953). The Angora Fire (2007) started near South Lake Tahoe, California, destroying over 200 structures in its first 48 hours.
The deaths of various UFO (aerial and related phenomena) researchers, writers, and fans (Frank Scully, June 24, 1964; Frank Edwards, near the coming midnight of the 24th, on June 23, 1967; Arthur Bryant, June 24, 1967; Richard Church, June 24, 1967; Willy Ley, June 24, 1969; Jackie Gleason, June 24, 1987). June 24, 2006 saw the death of renegade publisher Lyle Stuart who published anomalist writer Frank Edwards’ Fortean book, in 1959, Stranger than Science, a paperbook full of information on ufology and other unexplained accounts.
Mystery deaths are often associated with St. John's Day.
The day is named after John the Baptist, in celebration of his birth date. The feast day of his birth (June 24) became celebrated more solemnly than that marking his martyrdom by beheading (August 29). This is unusual but then "strange" and June 24th go hand and hand.
Let me share some other facts about June 24th.
Throughout Europe, and via the United Kingdom, St. John's Day's symbolism spread to the USA. In the UK, and especially, Scotland, bonfires are a key. Should we be surprised to find it so in North America too?
St. John’s Day (”Jaanipäev”) is a major traditional holiday in Estonia, celebrated by singing around bonfires, in Estonian communities in the United States and Canada as well as in Estonia itself. The glow-worm, because it usually starts appearing around St. John’s Day, is called Jaaniuss – "St. John’s Worm" – in Estonian.
In France, the Fête de la Saint-Jean (Feast of St John), traditionally celebrated with bonfires (le feu de la Saint-Jean) that are reminiscent of Midsummer's pagan rituals, is a catholic festivity in celebration of Saint John the Baptist. It takes place on June 24, on Midsummer day (St. John's day). In certain French towns, a tall bonfire is built by the inhabitants in order to be lit on St. John's Day. In medieval times, this festival was celebrated with cat-burning rituals.
Of course, there will be no cat burnings during most American or other worldwide celebrations. But a bonfire might be in order. Fire in the sky is a major underlying theme of this day.
Respect the wonder of the 24th of June.
Happy Birthday to Arthur Brown on June 24, 2012.
Now for the some cryptid events...
Two Inuits killed a huge, yellow-furred bear at Rendezvous Lake, Barren Ground, Canada, on June 24, 1864. The bear was similar to Arctodus simus, which died out in the Pleistocene. Naturalist Robert MacFarlane acquired the bear’s skin and skull, and shipped the remains to the Smithsonian Institution, where they were placed in storage and soon forgotten. Eventually, Dr. Clinton Hart Merriam uncovered the remains, and in 1918, he described the specimen as a new species and genus, calling it the “patriarchal bear,” with the scientific name Vetularctos inopinatus. Today, it is often recognized as a new species, Ursus inopinatus. Later thoughts have called into question the uniqueness of this species. (For more, see Matt Bille's contribution.)
On another June 24th, locals would have Bigfoot sightings, in Logan and Union counties, Ohio (1980). A Chupacabras was encountered outside a disco, at Maria Elena, Argentina (2000). Moose hunters saw a Bigfoot, near Fort Simpson, NWT, Canada (2002). A mysterious fire erupted in Mothman country, in a Gallipolis, Ohio resident’s car on a bridge from Ohio to Point Pleasant, West Virginia (2003). Massive unusual aerial phenomena (winged weirdies?) were viewed at Xalapa, Mexico (2005). “Aren’t You Chupacabra to See Me?” aired for the first time on Cartoon Network (2005). Nestle used Bigfoot-costumed marchers to launch Kit Kat Limited Edition – Cappuccino at the Giant Mahkota Parade, Malacca, and Jusco Tebrau City, Johor (2005).
What will happen in 2012?