Photo of Bluebell Woods in Sussex Photo of Bluebell Woods in Sussex

Mysterious Green Fan

My thanks to everyone who came to my talk last night at the Weald and Downland Museum. What a wonderful place to spend a summer’s evening, I recommend a visit to anyone who has yet to sample its delights.

On a different note, I received a fascinating letter recently from someone who has read the book. They wrote to me with an unusual observation.

I have touched the phenomenon of the ‘green flash’ at sunset in this blog and elsewhere, it is well documented and well heard-of. My correspondent is keen to learn more about something different and since I have been unable to solve the mystery, I promised to publish the extract from his letter here in the hope that a blog reader may be able to offer an insight.

“...My second point is the green flash you mention. My experience was quite different from the quick flash most people seem to see and perhaps you can shed some light on it. I was sailing in Caribbean and we were at anchor in a bay looking west. I was the only one on deck. I watched the sun set, and perhaps a full minute went by when suddenly, as if someone had switched it on, just where the sun had disappeared, a green fan of light sprang up, rather like a wide angled searchlight, the point of the fan below the horizon so that the base appeared to me to be perhaps 4 degrees in width. It spread well up into the sky so that the arc of the top of the fan was perhaps 20 degrees wide and about 20 degrees above the horizon. I measured the angles with my fist. The light was a light grass green but the stars showed through it clearly. It was quite lovely but I was sure it would disappear in a trice and my camera was below, so I did not want to break the moment and just sat there. But, to my surprise, it did not disappear. I sat there for what seemed several minutes but was probably just two; then it faded away as fast as it had come. Has anyone else reported seeing something similar? Obviously I should greatly value any knowledge you may have of it.

I’d be delighted if any blog readers can shed any light on the mysterious green sunset fan.