On This Day in Weird, January 17...
1775: Residents of Kalisz, Poland, burn nine elderly women as witches for allegedly causing bad harvests.
1871: "Our Lady of Hope"—presumably the Virgin Mary—appears in the sky, clad in blue and clutching a crucifix, to repel German troops advancing on Pontmain, France, during the Franco-Prussian War.
1947: Radar operators at Humberstone and Skendleby, Lincolnshire, report "an exceptionally good track" of a UFO flying at 10,000 feet above the North Sea, traveling at more than 200 miles per hour.
1949: The British South American Airways Star Ariel vanishes with seven crew and 13 passengers, en route from Bermuda to Jamaica, fueling the Bermuda Triangle legend.
1953: Witness J. J. Sackett reports a UFO shaped like the Goodyear blimp, flying at 400 miles per hour over Guatemala City.
1956: Witnesses log a close-range UFO sighting over Orangeville, Ontario.
1967: Residents of Freetown, Ind., report two separate UFO sightings on the same evening. Francis Bedel Jr. makes the first report to state police, from Highway 135, after crashing his car while distracted by the sight. Later, one mile from Bedel's crash site on the same highway, Mr. and Mrs. Phil Patton say an identical UFO has trailed their car at an altitude of 100 feet.
1976: UFOs appear in the skies over Augusta and Great Falls, Montana.
1977: Multiple witnesses in Natchez, Miss., report encounters with a hairy, "almost human" biped, six feet tall, that walks with a limp and "appears curious." Searchers later report finding humanoid footprints.
1989: A motorist driving along Route 37 from Hicksville, Ohio, to Fort Wayne, Ind., follows a UFO with three visible lights. In Fort Wayne, after hovering over a residential neighborhood, the craft turns and flies away rapidly to southward.
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