Each spring, I plant my herb garden and happily tend to my lavender, mints, and balms until winter’s first frost. Gardeners have much to contend with as they nurture and stimulate growth in their plants, trees, flowers, and herbs: insects, weeds, lack of rain, too much rain, and a plethora of other concerns. Usually by late summer, my biggest concern here in the Midwest is enough rain.
In late July of 1955, Mr. Ed Mootz of Cincinnati, may have been thinking about rain, but he had no idea that he was about to encounter an entirely different kind of precipitation that he might not have wanted.
It was a lovely summer evening, and Mr. Mootz was working in his garden when he felt a few drops of warm rain on his arms and hands. When he looked up into the sky, he saw a small, odd-looking cloud of dark green, red and pink. Red drops of liquid, the color of blood, were falling from the cloud onto his garden. Mootz watched for a minute as the red rain pelted his peach tree, then his hands and arms began to burn as if he “had put turpentine on an open cut.”
Mootz ran into the house to wash his hands and arms. The next morning when he went out to inspect his garden, Mootz discovered that the peach tree, as well as the grass underneath, had shriveled and died.
The United States Air Force did interview Ed Mootz and collect samples, but no conclusions were ever reached, or at least no conclusions were ever made public. There were evidently no planes in the area during that time, and it was believed that any chemical from a factory would not hover as a cloud over the same location.
Many odd objects have been reported to have fallen from the sky including fish, frogs, stones, money, and other unidentifiable substances.
In 1869, according to the “San Francisco Evening Bulletin” dated August 9, there were two locations in California that reported strips of flesh, blood, and hairs falling from the sky. Similar sightings were reported from Brazil in August of 1968.
The February 10, 1877 issue of “Scientific American” reported living snakes falling over Memphis, Tennessee. Usually when the falling objects are animals, they are still living.
In History of Napa and Lake Counties, California, Lyman L. Palmer tells of a “shower of candy” that fell in Lake County, California on two different nights in September of 1857. Mr. Palmer goes on to say that some of the ladies in the area made syrup from the crystals.
Many attempts have been made to explain these unnatural occurrences with theories that include poltergeists, extraterrestrials, and parallel worlds.
I am just hopeful for another season of grappling with ordinary garden issues like insects, weeds, plenty of sunshine, and fresh, clear rain!
Reader’s Digest Mysteries of the Unexplained. The Reader’s Digest Association, Inc.
Pleasantville, New York/Montreal, 1987.
Edwards, Frank. Strange World. 5th Edition. NY.: Bantam, 1973.
McMartin, James. “Chicken Little Was Right!”