What was the strange, unexplained phenomenon seen above Hull in 1801: a rare weather event, or perhaps a UFO?
The supernatural sighting was described in newspapers of the time as resembling an “immense moon with a black bar across”, which then split into seven “globes of fire”. During the time it was visible, a faint blue light fell on the surrounding area.
Mike Covell, local historian and expert in all things strange and unexplained, discovered the obscure reference a few years ago and, during a former life at the Hull Daily Mail, I was lucky enough to collaborate with him on an article about it.
Our report, published in November 2015, soon went viral and was picked up by several national newspapers, which branded it, with admirable hyperbole, “Britain’s first UFO sighting”.
He wrote: “In it he (Taylor) alludes to the well known line in the beggar and vagrants’ litany – ‘From Hell, Hull, and Halifax, good Lord deliver us;” and also to the “Hull cheese … the mightiest ale in England.”