Throughout the Middle Ages, visions of strange happenings were nearly always attributed to God or to the supernatural. What people couldn’t explain was immediately elevated in the statue to the divine.
As society advanced and as new technologies came into existence, everything began changing, and critical thinking was slowly taking over society.
Moving into the early modern period of the 17th century, people started to look more and more toward science and the stars for answers. New questions arose that the divine and religion were unable to answer.
With the invention of the refracting telescope in 1608, people became obsessed with the stars, looking to the skies for answers. Searching the night sky for clues that would help answer questions that remained unanswered for centuries.
As people started using telescopes, they started seeing things they couldn’t explain. Thins in the night sky, things on the lunar surface.
One of the most interesting UFO sightings on the surface of the moon took place 1668 when Colonial Preacher Cotton Mather saw a strange shape on the moon’s surface.
According to reports, Cotton Mather is believed to have said that he was looking through a telescope at the Moon, and he saw a flying light over the surface of the moon.
More interestingly, if it hadn’t been for NASA this UFO sighting would have ended up being forgotten.
If you go to NASA’s Chronological Catalog of Reported Lunar Events, you will find that in November of 1668, New England preacher, the Reverend Cotton Mather said he was observing the moon through his telescope and saw a ‘star point’ of light moving on the lunar surface.
And while we can’t possibly know what Cotton Mather saw in 1668, we must acknowledge that there are a vast number of natural atmospheric phenomena that can appear as bright lights in the night sky, and Mather may have seen one such event.
It is also a well-known fact that there are a number of Earth phenomena that can ‘materialize’ in a way appearing as glowing balls of light, and seen from a distance and through a telescope, may appear as a star.
Today, for example, there are many people who have seen objects they cannot explain while observing the moon from their backyard.
From mysterious saucer-shaped objects to lights and shadows moving on the moon, UFO sightings on Earth’s natural satellite have become an ordinary thing.
However, what is significant is the fact that a prominent religious figure such as Cotton Mather would go on and report such a sighting not as a vision from God, but as an astronomical event. As an unknown event.
Following Mather’s 1668 sighting, more people started reporting strange things on the moon.
In 1783, astronomer Sir John Herschel (the man who discovered the planet Uranus) reported seeing bright lights during an eclipse – with an approximate brightness magnitude of +4.
Four years after, in 1787 Sir John Herschel reported seeing objects glowing like “burning charcoal” on the moon’s surface.
In 1784, Astronomer Royal, Reverend Nevil Maskelyne – reported to the Royal Society that he had seen “lights in the dark portion of the moon“.
In November of 1821, Sir John Herschel again reported seeing strange lights “three times in succession”.