Research and Investigation into Anomalous Light Phenomena
on and over Lake Ontario, Ontario, Canada

Extract from the "Diary of Mrs John Graves Simcoe"

Wife of the First Lieutenant-Governor of the
Province of Upper Canada

With Notes and Biography by
J. Ross Robertson.
William Briggs

"Sat. 24th Dr. T. M. Nooth says a great light was observed last night in the air in a direction N.E. beyond St. Paul's Bay, which is 30 leagues below Quebec, opposite Isle aux Coudres, in the St. Lawrence. He supposed an eruption had taken place from a volcano, which is believed from the reports of the Indians to be in those parts, and a fresh eruption might have taken place there, occasioned by an earthquake which was severely felt a few days since near St. Paul's Bay. However, there is much of conjecture in the supposition about the existence of this volcano."

NOTE. - The "Quebec Gazette," of the 22nd December 1791, contains a letter from St. Paul's Bay written on December 11th, giving an account of a violent earthquake that occurred on the 6th at Bay St. Paul and relating the fact that there were thirty shocks in one day.

On the 17th, about five o'clock in the evening, "a globe of fire appearing to the eye of the size of a 48-pound cannon ball was observed in the sky coming from the northeast, disappearing in its perpendicular descent above St. Paul's Bay, after bursting with an explosion."

This strange "great light" which Dr. Nooth observed on the evening of the 23rd may have been a repetition of the "globe of fire" of the 15th.

Click on the images below to see full size versions of the two pages from the Diary