The Maracaibo Incident

During the night of the 24th of October last [1886], which was rainy and tempestuous, a family of nine persons, sleeping in a hut a few leagues from Maracaibo [Venezuela], were awakened by a loud humming noise and a vivid, dazzling light, which brilliantly illuminated the interior of the house.

The occupants, completely terror stricken, and believing, as they relate, that the end of the world had come, threw themselves on their knees and commenced to pray, but their devotions were almost immediately interrupted by violent vomitings, and extensive swellings commenced to appear in the upper part of their bodies, this being particularly noticeable about the face and lips. ”

— Walter Cowgill

More than 121 years ago, on December 18, 1886, a remarkable letter appeared on page 389 of the latest issue of Scientific American. Dated November 17th and posted from the U.S. Consulate in Maracaibo, Venezuela, the letter from Warner Cowgill related an incredible incident occurring on the night of the previous October 24th.