I’ve been accused of trying to be a prophet, but that’s absurd. I prognosticate only about probably inevitable things. Some of them may not be cyclical, like earthquakes, but in the long run they are just as inevitable as tomorrow’s sunrise. Uh-oh – am I slipping over into prophesy again to write that the sun will rise tomorrow, and it will happen even if the skies are cloudy and even if the moon is in the way? I have some personal experience with this occult-sunrise problem, and very few of Earth’s seven billion people can claim even secondhand hearsay experience with that natural event.
I am the only living person I know who has witnessed the sun to rise on a clear morning and for it not to be visibly there. It happened near Wilder, Idaho, one summer morning in 1945. Some astrologer types would claim strange occurrences were in my stars, because I didn’t choose to be there at that time and place; but I definitely am not of the astrologer crowd. Their argument could include that when a child I was destined to watch the sun rise totally eclipsed. That was on July 9th 1945 12:18z near Wilder, Idaho, exactly a week before the first atomic bomb exploded over Alamogordo, New Mexico, July 16th 1945 12:29 UT at sunrise. That event also had surprising intersections with my life.
For my occult sunrise I was standing with my mother’s father and her brother at 43.6322 -116.8895, up the road a short way from our farm near the top of a hill, beside a main artery irrigation canal. I witnessed a huge swath of darkness cover the sky directly overhead, with lighter sky to the distant north and south. It was all very calm and quiet, perhaps because the birds didn’t welcome the non-visible sun. A half hour later, back at our barn, I saw sun crescents on the wall created by the partially covered sun peeping through knot holes on the sun-side wall. No one was particularly excited about these natural events—it was just the sun and moon being lined up, which they do occasionally.
Thank you – “Eclipse Predictions by Fred Espenak, NASA’s GSFC”, & Google Maps
Another solar eclipse will pass over Wilder on Aug 21st 2017 17:35 and give near totality again, but I am now living in Bend, Oregon, and hope to still be living here at that time. Bend will be slightly south of the path of totality, but our family (our family moved from Idaho in 1949) farm on Dogwood Lane, north of Madras, Oregon, will be directly on the path. Both my grandfather and my uncle, who witnessed the 1945 eclipse, have passed on, but I’m still here, hopeful to witness the event. Strangely enough, for me alone, Malden, Missouri, where I lived for six months while in USAF flight school, will be very near the totality path, and Charleston, South Carolina, will experience totality. That is where my father’s mother was born and why I have the name Charles, as did my father’s brother.
Other possibilities for witnessing such an unusual sunrise eclipse event would be extremely limited. Someone living in the mountain wilderness of north China at 47.05, 129.34, at the little town of Nancha on Feb 4th, 1943, might have seen the sunrise eclipsed. Or someone 700 miles west of the Galapagos Islands on Jan 25th, 1944, could have witnessed one, but it is unlikely anyone would be within hundreds of miles of there, since it’s in the middle of the Pacific Ocean. There were other opportunities, like another little mountain spot near the town of Yubari, Hokkaido Island at 43.06, 141.97 in northern Japan, July 20th, 1963. Or, in mid Atlantic Ocean Feb 16th, 1980. There was a possibility on July 31, 1981, if you happened to be fifty miles off the coast in the eastern end of the Black Sea. Another possibility was in the North Atlantic 200 miles off Cape Cod, August 11th, 1999 .
But that’s about it for everyone who even had a chance to see the sunrise totally eclipsed. It was something special, and I think I realized that even as a child. We were the only people there between Homedale and Wilder that went out and saw the eclipsed sunrise, so far as I know. No one ever talked about it. Thus, the only likely places where anyone lived to see these events were near the small towns of Nancha, Yubari and Wilder. If those other places’ experiences were like mine, very few people bothered to get up and go to a high spot where they could see the event. I wouldn’t be surprised if considerably less than a thousand people alive, of the seven billion here on Earth, have seen one of those natural events. And perhaps it was overcast at those other two mountainous places, or the people lived in valleys that obscured the horizon. I wonder if, through the internet, I could contact people from those towns and find some of them? Would it matter?
I am not a prophet, but I have witnessed some unusual things.