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DID THE OTTOMANS SEE UFOS? AN 1838 OTTOMAN DOCUMENT ABOUT UNUSUAL CELESTIAL PHENOMENON

Evgeni Radushev
Bilkent University, Ankara

Orlin Sabev
Institut of Balkan Studies & Centre of Thracology
(Bulgarian Academy of Sciences)

Abstract: The paper deals with an Ottoman document preserved in the Oriental Department of Sts. Cyril and Methodius National Library in Sofia. The document reveals that in October 1838 a heavy storm broke over in the night, followed by appearance of a round-shaped bright light. It illuminated the whole horizon and afterwards broke into pieces that fell down on the earth. The unusual celestial phenomenon was observed by the Ottoman soldiers camping nearby Mardin as well as the locals. They reported the case to the sultan, who was informed also of the opinion of the local men of religion, whose interpretation associated the phenomenon with a divine sign of forthcoming military victories.

Keywords: UFO, Ottoman Documents, Unusual Celestial Phenomena, Mahmud II, Mehmed Ali Pasha