Angels of Mons
A story by British author Arthur Machen, first published in
the London Evening News for September 14, 1915, on the apparition
of phantom English bowmen from the field of Agincourt
during the terrible retreat from Mons in World War I. The
story quoted the testimony of an officer as follows
‘‘On the night of the 27th I was riding along the column with
two other officers. . . . As we rode along I became conscious of
the fact that in the fields on both sides of the road along which
Angelseaxisce Ealdriht Encyclopedia of Occultism & Parapsychology • 5th Ed.
we were marching I could see a very large body of
horsemen. . . . The other two officers had stopped talking. At
last one of them asked me if I saw anything in the fields. I told
them what I had seen. The third officer confessed that he, too,
had been watching these horsemen for the past twenty minutes.
So convinced were we that they were really cavalry, that at the
next halt one of the officers took a party of men out to reconnoitre
and found no one there. The night then grew darker
and we saw no more.’’
Confirmations poured in. Similar visions of phantom armies
were related from different battle fronts. Books were written on
the occurrence. Harold Begbie, in On the Side of the Angels
(1915), quoted testimonies of soldiers. A dying prisoner spoke
of the reluctance of the Germans to attack the English lines
‘‘because of the thousands of troops behind us.’’ Machen continued
to reiterate that the story was complete fiction. A claim
in 1930 added another feature to the story. Friedrich Herzenwirth,
a director of the German espionage system, published
his memoirs in February 1930 and declared that the Angels of
Mons were motion pictures, projected by German flyers on the
clouds to make the English troops believe that even God was
on the German side. No firm evidence has been produced to
support this explanation.
Machen, Arthur. The Angel of Mons The Bowmen and Other
Legends of the War. New York G. P. Putnam’s Sons, 1915.
Stein, Gordon. Encyclopedia of Hoaxes. Detroit Gale Research,

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