I started picking through Vallee's Passport to Magonia. As soon as I saw this one, I had some misgivings. Plus, I like a good history detective mystery. The paucity of data made me suspicious, so I dug pretty deep. You couldn't pick a much more obscure era for a UFO sighting. In fact in research, I discovered Charlemagne (speaking of French people) would be a much richer place to see UFOs. They were all over the place, and he decreed execution if anyone else told him they'd seen another one.
This is what I uncovered, which leads me to be very suspicious this was a "real report" or if it was, a "real UFO".
I tried to find the French copy of Christian Piens, Les Ovni du Passee
, and when I found snippets online, there was no reference where he obtained the story. I don't think there are any French forum participants, but I have a Lovecraft colleague in France I could ask.
If anyone has more details, I sure would appreciate it.
The references of the "story".
"One of the more spectacular sightings happened on August 3, 989 when three round objects of high brilliance were seen in the sky and later merged together. "
This is listed as happening on 3 August 989 in Japan. It is item 73 in Wonders of the Sky: Unexplained Aerial Objects from Antiquity to Modern Times
, Jaques Vallee and Chris Aubeck.
"73. 3 August 989, Japan, exact location unknown, Three objects became bright, in extraordinary fashion, and met at the same point of their trajectory. Source, Christian Piens, Les Ovni du Passee
, Paris, Marabout, 1977, page 41.'
This is listed in Passport to Magonia
, Jacques Vallee, page 6, "On August 3, 989, during a period of great social unrest, three round objects of unusual brilliance were observed; later they joined together."
The likely original French from Les Ovni du Passe
was "Japon ( 3 août 989 ) Les trois objets brillèrent d'une façon peu ordinaire et se réunirent en un même point de leur trajectoire.", or "Japan (August 3, 989) "The three objects flashed an unusual way and gathered at one point of their trajectory. "
This event is as yet untraceable. However, it may not be a coincidence, that if the month and year is correct, 989 AD, the record of the Itidaiyoki is interesting. "In the 3rd year of the Epoch Eien (= 1st year of the epoch Eiso), on the 12th day of the 7th month (15 August), there was a comet in the east. Its length grew to about 5 feet after a few nights." In addition, the Nihonkiryaku, volume 9, lists, "On the 1st day of the 6th month (6 July) there was a comet (it is not clear whether one or more is meant) in the eastern and western heavens. // On every night from the 10th to the 20th of the 7th month (13-23 August) a comet (or comets) was seen in the eastern and western heavens. These passages are derived from pages 130,131 of the March 1910 "Halley's Comet in Japanese History". The Observatory, Vol. 33
(link: 1910Obs....33..130H Page 130
(link: 1910Obs....33..130H Page 131
What Japanese unrest in "989 AD"? This coincides exactly with the rise of one political dynasty headed by the Japanese nobleman (Fujiwara clan ) Fujiwara Michinaga (966-1027), He became one of the most powerful statesmen in the Heian period. A number of deaths and exiles consolidated his power. Specifically in the Eiso era, commencing in 989, Fujiwara no Kaneie fell ill, and his son, Fujiwara no Michitaka, was chosen as regent, This happened during the 5th month. Kaneie died on 26 July 989 AD – the 7th month. However this is controversial, and listed as July 990 AD in many historical websites. It would be easy to see why Halley's comet and other celestial events would be important during these few years.
So bottom line, if this was a 989 AD event in Japan, it likely had more to do with omens than UFOs.