Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 18.djvu/190

This page has been validated.

my own mind the most incredible fact of all is, not the existence of the phenomena, but that the phenomena have not been sooner observed by science, and that they have so long escaped the notice even of scientific men who live near or in those regions, and who frequently visit them.

Two of the best known citizens of Greenville—a town at the foot of Moosehead Lake—who have lived there very many years, if not all their lives, who have had these Jumpers in their employ, denied or doubted the existence of any of these phenomena, declaring that these so-called Jumpers were merely drunk or playing. My guide in the woods of northern New Hampshire, who had spent his whole life in those wilds, who was old enough to be a great-grandfather, denied, without reservation, the whole claim; but, after investigating the subject with me, was compelled to admit its genuineness. One of my fishing companions in the woods, a clear-brained and vigorous man of business, and a man of the world, who for seventeen years had passed his summers in these regions, knew nothing of the subject until this season when I called his attention to it. All around these districts there are physicians, not in them but near them—for in the summer season the Jumpers scatter, to a certain degree, over the farms in the vicinity—and every year physicians and men of science, experts in various realms, visit for recreation the districts where these Jumpers most abound; but if they see them they do not notice them, or if they notice them they do not understand them, or if they understand them they say nothing about them, and do not attempt to bring, or at least do not succeed in bringing, the phenomena into science.

By W. F. DENNING, F. R. A. S.

THE August shower of meteors forms one of the most attractive and important of the annual phenomena witnessed by astronomers, and the display is awaited every year with considerable interest, not only by a large section of habitual observers, but by many persons who have their attention called to it in a mere casual way by the frequency and brightness of the meteors. For, on the 10th of August, if the night is clear and the moonlight not very strong, a person can not be long in the open before his curiosity is excited by numbers of these "falling stars," which he will notice traveling swiftly athwart the sky, and leaving lines of phosphorescence along their paths. It is,

  1. For a description of the November meteor-showers, see "Popular Science Monthly," vol. XV, page 445.