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  Columnist: William B Stoecker

Image credit: iStockPhoto

Things that fall

Posted on Saturday, 9 August, 2008 | 2 comments
Columnist: William B Stoecker

UFOs are perhaps the most blatant and obvious challenge to conventional thinking; they have been seen and videotaped by multiple witnesses of unimpeachable character; there have been simultaneous radar/visual sightings; and they have even been seen and filmed by astronauts. Their reality is beyond question, save for the professional debunkers. If they are interpreted as alien spacecraft they are a challenge to orthodox thinking, but there is no need to revise our concept of the basic nature of reality; the atheist/materialist paradigm can accomodate spacehips from other worlds with no real problem.

But some UFOs are difficult to explain away in these terms. They appear out of nowhere and vanish without a trace. They change shape, luminosity, and color. They break up into smaller objects and/or coalesce into larger ones. For these, the spaceship explanation begins to fail; they seem more like bizarre living entities or paranormal manifestations. Along with other paranormal phenomena, they are a challenge to the common materialist view; to take it all in we have to abandon that in favor of philosophical idealism, the idea that mind, or consciousness, is the prime reality and matter (mass/energy/space/time) is a secondary manifestation. A universe consisting of a great mind of which we are all a part (elsewhere I have referred to it as "consensus reality" or the "virtual reality universe) has room for ghosts, angels, demons, and magic, and it all begins to make a weird kind of sense.

But some things don't seem to make any sense at all; they seem to defy logic no matter what your philosophy is. And nothing is stranger than the things that fall: falls of stones, ice, fish and other creatures, colored rain, and organic materials in vast quantities, sometimes from a clear sky. Debunkers have tried to explain these away like every other challenge to their basic assumptions, but with only limited success. Few writers have touched this subject in recent decades, so for the cases below I have depended heavily upon the writings of the late American author and researcher Charles Fort. Thus, most of them are from the nineteen twenties and earlier. Note that Fort researched the files of newspapers, and while some of these cases may have been hoaxes, most seem pretty well documented, and no one has ever impugned the honesty of Charles Fort himself. And remember, the fact that our controlled media today seldom report such events does not mean that they have ceased to happen.

Seemingly easy to explain are falls of stones. We know today that meteorites do indeed fall from the sky, and there is evidence that some of the smaller ones may have slowed and cooled by the time they reach the ground. Beginning around August, 1878, stones fell for a period of several weeks in Chico, California. The meteorite theory fails here, because meteorites cannot continue to fall almost exclusively in one small area for any length of time, due to the simple fact that the Earth turns on its axis and orbits the Sun. Remember the huge comet fragments that struck Jupiter a few years ago? They left dark marks stretching for tens of thousands of miles across the planet. Warm stones resembling flint fell 9/4/1886 in Charleston, South Carolina at 2:30 AM, 7:30 AM, and 1:30 PM. Again, the time lapses rule out meteorites. There have even been reports of stones, usually warm, materializing and falling inside houses, usually in association with various poltergeist manifestations.

In some ways, falls of ice may actually be the easiest to explain away. Today, ice can fall from aircraft, and, during hailstorms, it is possible for small hailstones to coalesce as they fall, forming fairly sizeable chunks of ice. In addition, it may be possible that meteorites or cometary fragments composed mostly of water ice may somehow survive the solar radiation in the inner Solar System, and not be entirely melted by their passage through our atmosphere. In any event, large chunks of ice have been reported falling at L'Aquila, Ancoma, and Avellino Italy, and in various parts of Spain, the US, and other locations.

Various animals, both living and dead, have fallen from the sky; usually, though not always, they are aquatic creatures. The debunkers "explain" these by imagining tornadoes and waterspouts sucking them up and then dropping them. But these events are often reported when no tornadoes have been seen or heard, and often when the windy thunderstorm weather that spawns tornadoes was not even present. In addition, most of the falls are selective, dropping only one type of animal, and the dirt, small stones, mud, or large amounts of water that a tornado or waterspout would also lift and then drop are almost always absent. Near Toulouse, France in August, 1804, a thick cloud suddenly appeared in a clear sky, and large numbers of toads fell. These mysterious clouds have also been implicated in the disappearance of aircraft. Fish fell on Ross-shire, Scotland in 1828, and on Mountain Ash, Wales on 2/11/1859. Lizards fell in Montreal, Canada on 12/28/1857. Snakes fell in Memphis, Tennessee on 1/15/1877. Small frogs were found in great numbers after a rain in London, England on 7/30/1838 and again on 8/17/1921. Sand eels fell on Hindon, England on 8/24/1918. There have been reports of falls of both live and dead fish, crayfish, eels, and periwinkles, and even fish scales falling without the fish. There have been repeated reports of large numbers of dead birds falling from the sky, as at Baton Rouge, Louisiana in November, 1896. Fish have been found lying on the ground after earthquakes in South America and South Africa. Earthquakes have been accompanied by a whole host of strange events. Lizards fell on Sacramento, California in August, 1870, and fish fell along with the stones in Chico.

Black or red rain and other colors, are usually explained by dust mixing with the clouds, and this may be possible. Black rain fell in Ireland 5/14/1849 and again on 10/8 and 10/9/1907. Note that Ireland, with its heavy rainfall, is not a dusty area, nor is it anywhere near any dusty area, and it was not yet industrialized. In virtually all of these cases, no dust or factory soot is reported anywhere in the vicinity. Yellow rain was reported 2/27/1877 at Peckloh, Germany. Black snow was reported on 4/26/1884 near Liverpool, England, and there have also been reports of black hail. Unidentifiable red and yellow substances have fallen in Nova Scotia, France, Italy, and Spain.

There have been numerous reports of rains of blood and other organic materials, like the fall of blood and meat on 7/24/1851 at an Army post near San Francisco, California. And let's not forget the account in Exodus of the manna that fell in Sinai to feed the Israelites.

There is an old English tradition that some meteorites are "star jellies," and a fairly old theory that some ufos may be living creatures. In 1833 in Rathway, New Jersey, during a meteor shower, people saw glowing objects fall and then turn into lumps of jelly that disintegrated into dust. In nearby Philadelphia on 9/26/1950 police officers John Collins and Joe Keenan saw a purple blob about a foot thick and some six feet across fall in a small field, pulsating as if it were alive. When they tried to lift it, it disintegrated and evaporated, and the sticky residue on their hands also evaporated. This event was probably the inspiration for the horror movie, The Blob, but, unlike the unfortunate victims in that film, the two police officers suffered no harm whatever.

Of course, the cases above represent only a tiny fraction of the total. What are we to make of all this? People have theorized that ufos might dump the contents of fish tanks, but why would they carry fish unless for food, and, if so, why discard them? Or why would ufos lift fish from bodies of water here on Earth and then drop them? Here, at least, we may have a partial explanation. Ufos have been seen entering and leaving bodies of water such as lakes, or hovering above and apparently sucking up water. Conceivably, they need the water for some purpose and then discard the fish and other aquatic animals. But this is at best, only a partial and possible explanation for only a few of the above events. Perhaps these mysterious falls are the greatest challenge at all to our way of thinking, for they seem to be impossible to explain. It may be (if philosophical idealism is correct) that, at times, consensus reality breaks down and seemingly absurd and meaningless things happen. We may never know anything except that we are confronted with a great mystery.

William B Stoecker

Article Copyright© William B Stoecker - reproduced with permission.

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