R. Overton (1839), Will with a Wisp. In "The Times" newspaper, Wednesday 22nd May 1839, p.2, column F. Reprinted from the Norwich Mercury of Saturday, i.e. the 18th May 1839.
Sean B. Palmer
Will with a Wisp.—The following letter from Mr. R. Overton, of Grimstone, appears in the Norwich Mercury of Saturday:—"On returning home from Tatterford, on the 8th of May, at half-past 11 o'clock p.m., when within half-a-mile of Rudham, I observed two lights, apparently 200 yards distant, passing rapidly about 2 feet from the surface of the earth, through a dense fog, which covered a circumscribed spot of meadow land to the extent of an acre: the adjoining land appeared perfectly free from that vapour. At first sight I supposed the lights to preceed from lanterns. I was therefore induced to stop and observe their movements, but was rather surprised to see them disappear; after travelling in a straight direction about 100 yards, another, much larger and more brilliant one, made its appearance, and in a short time disappeared. It was a beautiful starlight night, and the sky frequently illumined with flashes of vivid silent lightning, and the wind blowing briskly from the north-east. Several lights sprung up in different parts of the meadow, and moved about in various directions—and one, as if more bold than the rest, advanced in a straight direction to within about 90 yards of the place where I stood, remained perfectly still for a few seconds, described a half circle as if about to return, and instantly disappeared. Feeling fully satisfied that the phenomenon above described was an ignis fatuus, I remained a full hour to observe its gambols, which at times were truly ridiculous—and as I am not aware that it has been before noticed that these midnight luminaries are immediately connected with electricity, I beg leave to request you will do me the favour of giving a place in your valuable journal to the preceding phenomea. I particularly observed two or three of these lights instantly appeared with each flash of lightning, more or less brilliant, according to the degree of light caused by the lightning."