The reflecting sun at Hoy, Orkney

As described in my article in the 3rd Stone Magazine [1998], the sun has been seen reflecting from the top of Ward Hill of Hoy as described by Sir Walter Scot in The Pirate (1821). Sir Walter Scot got this information possibly from several other sources and distorted it a little bit (changed midday in midnight):
"At the west of this stone [the Dwarfie Stone] stands an exceeding high mountain of a steep ascent, called the Ward Hill of Hoy, near the top of which in the month of May, June and July, about midday [changed by VR: in original text midnight], is seen something which shines and sparkles admirably, and which is often seen a long way off. It has shined more brightly before than it does now, and though many have climbed the hill, and attempted to search for it, yet they could find nothing. The vulgar talk of it as being some sort of enchanted carbuncle, but I take it rather to be some water, sliding down the face of some smooth rock, which, when the sun at times shines, on, the reflection, causeth that admirable splendour."

There is also an other intriguing tale that relates to the death of Orkney Mainland trows/fairies told by Sigurd Towrie:
"When the preaching of Christianity became too much for the trows/faries, they decided to abandon Orkney Mainland and head out to Hoy. To do this, they strung a straw rope from the Black Craig (HY221110) to Ward Hill of Hoy and began to climb across. Unfortunately, however, the rope snapped and they fell to their deaths. The one trow who was waiting for them on Ward Hill, upon seeing the others die, howled in anguish before casting himself into the sea."
Could the rope be seen as the sun rays and the one trow at Ward Hill as the sun???

Otherwise recorded instances of reflecting light are not available (to my knowledge, if wrong, let me know). One interesting option was mentioned by Martin Byrne: Light could be reflected by surfaces of lakes or sea's.

Thinking about this all, could there be a relation between the reflecting sun at Ward Hill of Hoy and the reappearing sun seen within Maeshowe and its environment?
Overlooking all of this, I decided to ask other Orcadians also for their help. As a result I had an interviews in The Orcadian (Jan 11th , 2001) and on Radio Orkney (Jan 9th, 2001).

Reflecting seen in 17th and 19th century

My article in 3rd Stone, stimulated Jeremy Harte to report [in the 3rd stone Magazine, 33, 1999] on his findings in literature by Alfred Johnston, Dwarfie Stone of Hoy, Orkney, The Reliquary 2, 1896:
"Mackaile first recorded in 1664 the experiences of proprietor of the Bu of Hoy and after that it was again recordered now by Wallace (circa 1684). Moodie Heddle, a man living in Hoy, wrote in 1895 that he had seen it and told also that many people of Hoy knew about this phenomena."

Reflecting seen in 1990's.

The sun is reflecting from the following two locations and this has been seen by Terry Thomson at the Bu of Hoy (BU-1 and BU-2 in below picture) in the summer of 1990's:
  1. Near the Howes of Quoyawa (QUOYAW in below picture)

  2. Here the sun reflects back to the Bu of Hoy when the sun is standing almost above this location (approximately 13:15 over a period of a few days around summer solstice day, possibly between June 14th and June 26th).
    According to Terry Thomson the reflection was visible for not more than a few minutes, but because he never expected such phenomena he was to startled (which I can imagine) and thus was not able to write things done. This will be checked in the future.
  3. Near Glen of Greor (GREOR1 in below picture)

  4. Here the sun reflects back to the Bu of Hoy when it is descending (so when the sun is above the Cuilag mountain). The precise date when this was seen, is not clear anymore (it was though in the afternoon of a summer day), but this will be check in future.

Reflecting seen in 2001

As with most light phenomena, this is of course not visible at one location. As soon as a better understanding is known when it can be seen at the Bu of Hoy, calculations will be done to determine when it can be seen at other locations (and thus linking it with my other research).
No reflecting sun has been witnessed (even eyes were focused every day on Ward Hill). Perhaps a dry season and bad weather around summer solstice were the cause of this. Hopefully Terry Thomson will be able to spot it in 2002, so watch this space then!

If you have more information, let me know!!!

Last major content related changes: Jan. 24th, 2001