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No. 9: Winter 1979

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Purple Blobs In Texas

In early September 1979, the Associated Press carried a story about three purple blobs found in a yard in Frisco, Texas. One blob evaporated away, while the remaining two were preserved for analysis by NASA. The blobs were warm when found and had appeared during the height of a meteor shower. At first, NASA scientists did not rule out the possibility that the jelly-like goo might be extraterrestrial, but an AP dispatch the next day (not as widely printed) inferred that the blobs were merely industrial waste!

(Anonymous; "NASA Scientists to Prob Mystery of 2 Purple Blobs Found in Texas," Baltimore Sun, September 8, 1979.)

Comment. The blobs closely resemble gelatinous meteors or pwdre ser reported rarely down the centuries. One instance of pwdre ser was reported in 1978 from England in the Journal of Meteorology, U.K., and there are doubtless more that are swept under the rug. We may be sure that NASA will have nothing further to do with something as outrageous as pwdre ser.

Many pwdre ser observations are cataloged at GWF7 in Tornados, Dark Days, Anomalous Precipitation. This volume is described here.

From Science Frontiers #9, Winter 1979. 1979-2000 William R. Corliss

Science Frontiers Sourcebook Project Reviewed in:


  • "A sourcebook of unexplained phenomena is therefore a valuable addition to a collection of scientific literature. William R. Corliss has provided this in the past with his source books of scientific anomalies in several subjects, and now he has provided it for astronomy. He has done an excellent job of collecting and editing a large amount of material, taken in part from scientific journals and in part from scientific reporting in the popular or semi-scientific press." -- "The Mysterious Universe: A Handbook of Astronomical Anomalies", reviwed by Thomas Gold, Cornell University, in Icarus, vol.41, 1980

  • "An interesting, systematic presentation of unusual weather [..] This book is recommended for a general audience" --"Corliss, William R., Tornados, Dark Days, Anomalous Precipitation, and Related Weather Phenomena, Sourcebook Project, 1983.", revieweed in Choice, September 1983
  • "..the science is necessarily somewhat speculative, but Corliss's symthesis is based on reputable sources." -- "Corliss, William R. (Compiler). Lightning, Auroras, Nocturnal Lights, and Related Luminous Phenomena" reviwed by Joseph M. Moran, Univ. of Wisconsin in Science Books and Films, Sep/Oct 1983

  • "Before opening the book, I set certain standards that a volume which treads into dangerous grounds grounds like this must meet. The author scrupulously met, or even exceeded those standards. Each phenomenon is exhaustively documented, with references to scientific journals [..] and extensive quotations" -- "Book Review: The moon and planets: a catalog of astronomical anomalies", The Sourcebook Project, 1985., Corliss, W. R., Journal of the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada, Vol. 81, no. 1 (1987), p. 24., 02/1987