"...we should pass over all biographies of 'the good and the great,' while we search carefully the slight records of wretches who died in prison, in Bedlam, or upon the gallows."
~Edgar Allan Poe

Wednesday, January 26, 2022

Newspaper Clipping of the Day

Via Newspapers.com

The following little meteorological oddity was reported in the “Ogden Standard,” January 7, 1909:

Santa Cruz, Cal. Jan 6.--A remarkable phenomenon that has caused wonder and consternation in the neighborhood of the Santa Cruz Beach was reported by Mrs. W.H. Burns of 240 Riverside avenue this city this morning and when investigated was fully corroborated by residents of the neighborhood. 

Mrs. Burns’ attention and her curiosity were aroused yesterday by the peculiar antics of a number of barefooted children who were playing in front of her house. When she asked them what was the matter, they told her that the air was full of electricity and that hot shots were falling from the clouds. She then noticed a clatter on the housetop that sounded like hail and looking to the grandstand of the Casino ball grounds she saw little white threads of smoke arising from the roof wherever those little red hot metal globules struck the damp boards. Every  roof in the vicinity showed the same peculiar condition. 

This molten rain continued from about 2 to 4 o’clock in the afternoon and varied in intensity. At times, however, children who were bareheaded and unshod were compelled to take to cover. One boy carried a burn on his finger as the result of being struck by one of those hot pellets. 

One theory to account for the phenomenon is that the molten rain was due to a passing meteor that had been disintegrated. 

Mrs. Burns has saved a few of the little pellets. They are about the size of No. 8 shot and resemble lead.

I couldn’t find anymore about the story, so I assume that this was one of life’s one-offs, where onlookers say, “Well, that was weird,” shrug, and move on.


  1. It reads as if debris from a minor volcanic eruption was carried by winds some distance from its source, in the same way frogs and fish can be picked up by a waterspout and carried far away.

  2. But would the particulates still be HOT ??

  3. IIRC, this was mentioned in Janet & Colin Bord's 'Modern Mysteries of the World'. There is a gazetteer of Forteana at the back of that book. I assume that they got their info from Fate or some other magazine.


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