The journal of John Winthrop, 1630-16491639
"..In this year one James Everell
a sober, discreet man, and two others, saw a great light in the night at Muddy River. When it stood still, it flamed up, and was about three yards square; when it ran, it Was contracted into the figure of a swine: it ran as swift as an arrow towards Charlton, and so up and down about two or three hours. They were come down in their lighter about a mile, and, when it was over, they found themselves carried quite back against the tide to the place they came from. Divers other credible persons saw the same light, after, about the same place.."(3)
A space craft AND alien abduction!!
It was very easy to find the Journal online and foot notes by the editors.
JAMES SAVAGE 1824
(3)" This account of an ignis fatuus may easily be believed on testimony less respectable than that which was adduced. Some operation of the devil, or other power beyond the customary agents of nature, was probably imagined by the relaters and hearers of that age, and the wonder of being carried a mile against the tide became important corroboration of the imagination. Perhaps they were wafted, during the two or three hours' astonishment, for so moderate a distance, by the wind; but, if this suggestion be rejected, we might suppose, that the eddy, flowing always, in our rivers, contrary to the tide in the channel, rather than the meteor, carried their lighter back."
"Although meteors have been known since ancient times, they were not known to be an astronomical phenomenon until early in the 19th century. Prior to that, they were seen in the West as an atmospheric phenomenon, like lightning, and were not connected with strange stories of rocks falling from the sky."
Date of Origin 15th c.
Greek metéoron meant literally ‘something high up’, and was used to denote ‘phenomena in the sky or heavens’. It was a compound noun formed from the intensive prefix metá- and *eor-, a variant form of the base of the verb aeírein ‘raise’. When English first took it over, via medieval Latin meteorum, it was still in the sense ‘phenomenon of the atmosphere or weather’ (‘hoar frosts … and such like cold meteors’, Abraham Fleming, Panoplie of Epistles 1576), an application which survives, of course, in the derivative meteorology (17th c.). The earliest evidence of the specific use of meteor for a ‘shooting star’ comes from the end of the 16th century. The derivative meteorite, for a meteor that hits the ground, was coined in the early 19th century
Word Origin & History
late 15c., "any atmospheric phenomenon," from M.Fr. meteore (13c.), from M.L. meteorum (nom. meteora ), from Gk. ta meteora "the celestial phenomena," pl. of meteoron , lit. "thing high up," neut. of meteoros (adj.) "high up," from meta- "over, beyond" (see meta- ) + -aoros "lifted, hovering in air," related to aeirein "to raise" (see aorta). Specific sense of "fireball, shooting star" is attested from 1590s. Atmospheric phenomena were formerly classified as aerial meteors (wind), aqueous meteors (rain, snow, hail), luminous meteors (aurora, rainbows), and igneous meteors (lightning, shooting stars).