Leverrier and Vulcan

Monthly Notices, 20-98, tells that in 1859, an amateur astronomer named Dr. Lescarbault, of Orgeres, France, announced that he had seen, on March 26 of that year, “a body of planetary size cross the sun.” He contacted the astronomer Leverrier (discoverer of the planet Neptune), who cross-examined him, to his satisfaction, and called this body “Vulcan.” This body was seen to transit the sun six times. Leverrier determined its periodicity as 20 days. He decided that the best date on which to observe the body would be March 22, 1877.

The date arrived. Preparations had been made by astronomers around the world for this momentous occasion. 

And on that day, nothing was seen. Apparently the astronomer had picked out six of the observations of unknown bodies of planetary size that occur from time to time.

Leverrier died a few months later. Fort comments, “I think Leverrier was translated to the Positive Absolute.”

–Charles Fort, The Book of the Damned, p. 196-201 (The Complete Books of Charles Fort, Dover, c1974).

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