On This Day in Weird, December 26...
1899: Montana's Anaconda Standard newspaper reports the following, for what it may be worth, allegedly occurring somewhere in Wisconsin:
"Suddenly Mr. Jones was startled by observing a blinding gleam in the northeastern heavens,
which fascinated his attention s the fatal eye of the basilisk is said to render impotent its victims.
He gave a loud outcry and the other members of the party rushed out of the hut in alarm.
According to their common evidence all of them then saw what appeared to be a permanent streak of lightning painted on the sky. While they were yet gazing in astonishment at this
manifestation, for the night was clear and the stars were shining brightly, the tail of this serpent
of fire began to fade and the head to increase in volume and rapidly draw nearer to their camp. 'A fiendish, hissing noise,' reports Guide Jones, attended this alteration of appearance, and
at least three members of the party—Daniel Burgess of Wunkookoo, Walter Feathers of Loon
Lake and Charley Martin of near White Squaw a nephew of old Bill Jones, the guide—aver that
they distinguished menacing words and heard mocking laughter as the fiery thing plunged into the earth almost at their feet. The ground was calcined for a rod around in all directions where
the meteor struck and the hunting party fled in terror all but Feathers, who fainted on the spot.
When the others had sufficiently recovered from their panic they returned to the spot to find Feathers still unconscious and the aerolite disappeared below the surface of the soil which was still burning hot to the touch. They spent the remainder of Thursday in discussing the marvel and waiting for the ground to cool. Yesterday they procured spades and after much
severe labor exhumed the strange fragment, which they intend to place on exhibition having
formed a stock company for that purpose. The aerolite was discovered six feet three and a half inches below the surface as measured by a tape. In form it is not unlike the popular conception of an Egyptian mummy, but of gigantesque proportions, being more than eight feet
in height or length. There seem to be evidences of rudimentary arms folded to the sides of the singular visitor, and the head bear distinct features resembling those of human beings. The mouth is especially well formed and remains half open, revealing a cavity within. Upon
blowing into this aperture a gruesome wailing cry is returned by the aerolite, not unlike that of a child in pain. This is accompanied by profound like rushing wind. Guide Jones and his party feel confident they have discovered a valuable prize and refuse all offers of participation in their good luck."