1741 AD: ANGEL HAIR
Gilbert White records that on 21 September 1741 he went to the nearby fields just before dawn to discover that they were covered with a strange cobweb-like substance. Prodding it with a stick he found it to be “as like cobweb but more slippery in nature and although sticking easily to the rod dissolved quickly into nothingness after it had been touched.” He further describes how his dogs became so covered with this material that they had to scrape it from their eyes with their paws. Later at about nine in the morning Gilbert records that the sky filled with clothes of the same material that was clearly heavier than the air and while he first believed them to be cobwebs soon realised that they were not strands but densely woven and five inches on a side and one to two inches on the other. This phenomenon continued for the better part of an hour and by Gilbert’s estimate covered an area of some 32 square miles and caused much comment. No spiders were found in the webs and no person complained of bites. Although Gilbert White doesn’t state exactly where he was at the time, the event took place in a triangle made up of the towns of Bradley, Selborne and Alresford, so clearly this event took place in Hampshire – England. The event is recorded in the 1829 book,”Popular Biology”, by Rev. W. Bingley. It is clear that the event was attributed to the Gossamer Spider but had never before been seen on this scale. The fact is that while the Gossamer spider can create a field of webs to have them fall in such numbers from the sky is a near impossibility.
1781 AD: BRIMSTONE
Emile Coulon, a farmer living some six miles from the town of Lyon in France was sitting at the table in his kitchen when a rock broke through the thatch of the roof and impacted on the table in front of him which was of oak but still cracked. As he watched the rock split into two halves allowing him to see inside. He reached out and took the halves which were hollow and glowing with yellow crystals. Raising them to see more clearly he noticed that the rock (geode) was damp and smelt of rotten eggs. He appears to have passed out because he was found later by his wife lying on the floor. When he woke and studied the “phenomenon” again he noticed that the interior of the “Stone Egg” no longer glowed but was blackened as if by fire. The stone was sent to the Cathédrale St-Jean where it was identified as Devil’s Brimstone and kept for examination but nothing further was heard. (Submitted by Aquiziam reader; John H.)
1819 AD: STRANGE ORGANISM
On August 13 at the town of Amherst, Massachusetts a strange organic glowing object fell to the ground from the sky. It apparently landed in the garden of Erastus Dewey who did not locate it until the following morning. It was later examined by Professor Rufus Graves who noted that the skin of the object was a “cloth-like nap” which he removed to reveal a “buff-coloured pulp-like substance.” In size it appeared to be as an upturned “salad bowl” circular in form and approximately an inch thick. The professor removed the skin of the object revealing the organic pulp below which was described as of the consistency of “good soft soap”. The stench (smell) was overpowering and quickly induced dizziness and nausea. On exposure to the air this substance quickly turned a livid shade of red like fresh blood. Although the professor placed the material in a tumbler it seemed to attract moisture and began to rapidly liquefy and become a substance not dissimilar from household starch. Within three days the material had deteriorated (evaporated) to become a thick dark residue. On examination of the deposit Professor Graves concluded that it was ash-like in nature. It is worth noting that a bitter dispute broke out between Professor Graves and Amherst College Chemist, Edward Hitchcock who claimed it was fungal in origin while Graves maintained it was meteoric. The matter was never resolved but according to author Jerome Clark it is a far from unusual occurrence. (Sources: John G. Burke – Cosmic Debris, Mysteries of the Unexplained – Readers Digest, Jerome Clarke- Unnatural phenomenon)
1824 AD: BLOOD RAIN
A dark red cloud appeared over the village of Buliavino on the line from Moscow to St. Petersburg and towards the evening a rain, red in colour, fell in torrential amounts. Those villagers that caught the rain in pots and pans were in no doubt that the liquid was blood. Towards midnight the rain became normal in appearances and continued in varying intensity for two further days. While livestock seemed unaffected by the incident, all the fields of the village turned first a bright orange and then blackened as if covered by soot. With the loss of their spring grass the villagers were set to abandon their homes when they noticed a new growth of vegetation. The new grass seemed to grow at twice the speed and produced a crop of a quality never before seen. Vegetables grew to enormous sizes and the people of the place experienced vibrant health and fitness for many years to come. Those that had saved the red fluid in jars or bottles sold it for a medicine that was said to restore vitality to those that drank it. A bottle of the fluid was allegedly dispatched to the court of Tsar Alexander the First but what he did with it is not known. (Source: Reported by a Cossack soldier on route to Novgorod 1827 /Essay: Cossack Tales and Folklore – 1866 Russian)
1841 AD: FRESH SQUID
On Wednesday, 7 July 1844, Mr. John Seaver was caught in an unusually fierce hailstorm whilst riding the Tremont road. To his astonishment he witnessed an unusual animal lying amongst the ice. It was ten inches in length and four and a half inches in circumference with tentacles protruding from its body. This animal was a squid! This discovery was supported by the high salt content of the hail. The partially frozen squid appeared to have fallen a great distance and was later preserved in spirits. (Source: Pennsylvania Sentinel – 12 July 1841)
1867 AD: COMPLETELY NUTS
During the night of 9 May 1867 policemen in Dublin, Ireland, were driven to take shelter from a rainstorm of great proportions into which was mixed vast quantities of nuts and berries that fell with the rain from the sky. The officers noted that these objects seemed driven by a great force. The berries were described as being about half an inch in diameter and in appearance like a much shrunken orange – although black in colour. A study of the objects revealed a faint aromatic odour but the berries remained unidentified. Apparently skeptics claimed the mysterious objects were nothing more than hazelnuts that had been “preserved” in a bog for “centuries”. If this is indeed what they were it still fails to explain what they were doing pelting down from the sky. (Source: Symons Monthly Meteorological Magazine – December 1867)
1877 AD: SNAKES ALIVE!
The Southern part of Memphis Tennessee experienced a rain of living snakes during 1877. It was recorded that thousands fell and ranged in size from a foot to 18 inches in length. (Scientific American – 10 February 1877)
1894 AD: TURTLE AND ALABASTER
Two strange objects both encased in ice fell in the region of Vicksburg, Mississippi on 11 may 1894. The first was an ordinary gopher turtle while the second was a block of alabaster. Both falls occurred during the same hailstorm which was ordinary in type and nature. No tornadoes had been reported in the region. (Source: Monthly weather Review – May 1894)
1940 AD: SILVER LINING
It appears that clouds do have a silver lining after all. In the Meshchera region of Central Russia “numerous” silver coins rained down during a storm during August 1940. (Source: Michell & Rickard: Phenomena.
1976 AD: WINDFALL
Two clergymen had an unexpected windfall when banknotes to the value of 2,000 marks literally fluttered down from a clear and empty sky at Limburg, West Germany. (Source: The Bath and West Evening Chronicle – 6 January 1976)
2001 AD: RED RAIN – SOUND FAMILIAR?
A red rain fell on Kerala, India in July, 2001. A possible meteor was quickly identified as the cause of the strange-colored rain but quickly retracted when a study identified that the water was filled with fungal spores. CESS director M. Baba said: ‘‘The exact species is yet to be identified. But how such a large quantity of spores could appear over a small region is as yet unknown.’’ (Source: The India Express – Kamal Gopinath Nair – Aug 6 2001)
2007 AD: STRANGE METALLIC OBJECT
On the afternoon of 3 January 2007 in Free Hold Township New Jersey a strange metallic object, roughly the size of a baby’s fist fell from the sky and punched a hole through the roof and shattered the tiles of the second storey bathroom before embedding itself in the wall. Lt. Robert Brightman of the Freehold Township Police Department investigated the incident in the Colts Pride Development and contained the unusually heavy object in a glass cylinder stating that it would remain in police custody pending further investigation. Investigators who checked it with a Geiger counter were relieved that it was not radioactive. (Source: New York Times – 4 January 2007) (Copyright notification – see below)
Sky Fall Rock
IT JUST KEEPS ON HAPPENING …
We’ve already found several references for 2008 including a large glass sphere in Kentucky, a shower of ball bearings in Greece and most bizarrely – A Ten Thousand Mark German “Reichs Bank Note” encased in ice in the yard of a resident of Manassas, Virginia. Still, none of these incidents are verified so will sadly have to stay as possible incidents.
We’ll keep adding to this section so check back later!
These are just a short collection of the hundreds of accounts of strange objects falling from the sky. We offer no explanations although there may be many. Instead, we simply marvel at the weird wonders of the world that we all live in.