Jane Lead's UFO Close
Encounter Of 1678
By Jesse Glass <>

Jane Lead (1623-1704), British mystic and poet, experienced nightly prophetic visions, which she struggled to interpret in the light of Christian doctrine. Many of her incredibly detailed visions are larger than her interpretations allow and they spill over into the numinous in all kinds of unexpected ways. In her remarkable spiritual diary, entitled A Fountain of Gardens (1700), we find the following account...
"February 9. 1678
A Transport.
In the Morning after I was awakened from Sleep, upon a sudden I was insensible of any sensibility as relating to a corporeal Being, and found my self as without the clog of any Earthly Body, being very sprightly and airy in a silent place, where some were beside my self, but I did not know them by their Figures, except one, who went out, and came in again: and there was no speaking one to another, but all did set in great silence, and I my self with my Eye fixed forward. And I did suddenly see at a pretty distance, where I was, a rich splenderous thing come down all engraven, with Colors, the Ground thereof being all of Gold. It was in the form of a large Ship with Wings, I cannot say, whether more than four, which spread themselves out, being like varnished Gold, it came down with the greatest swiftness as is imaginable. Upon which amazing sight, I asked some by me, do you not see this wonderful sight? And they said no. But I saw my self, or something like my self, leaping and dancing and greatly rejoicing to meet it. But when I came up to it, then it did as suddenly go up again, withdrawing out of sight, unto the high Orb from whence it came. After which I found my self in my Body of sense, as knowing I had been ranging in my Spirit from it for a while, that I might behold this great thing."
This particular vision is strikingly similar to modern accounts of abductions by UFOs. Notice how Lead describes herself as feeling disembodied and staring straight ahead as if she were in a trance. She then feels surrounded by figuresshe does not call them human beingsone of which she recognizes. In the middle of her silence she sees a glorious flying machine, which she approaches. Her sense of time appears to become truncated at that point, and, just as many abductees observe, the UFO appears to leave almost as soon as it arrives. However, in retrospect, the witness finds that hours, or days, are missing. There is also the peculiar point of similarity of emotional states. Rather than being afraid, Mrs. Lead approaches the anomaly joyfully; just as many abductees relate that they too experience profound transports of fear or joy in the presence of the unknown craft. Finally, Lead tells of the "high Orb" from which the craft descends and to which it returns. Once again, in modern UFO parlance, this would be described as the "Mother Ship."
Whether this is a description of a real "close encounter," interpreted as the visit of an angelic messenger, or a description of a strikingly similar psychological state, it gives one pause. Furthermore, in other places in A Garden of Fountains, Lead tells of an inner mystery which had been revealed to her by an angelic messenger in a "translated body," that, in her description, could pass for a visored suit of some sort. Truly this was a remarkable event in the life of a remarkable person.
C. 1999 by Jesse Glass