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No. 43: Jan-Feb 1986

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June 26, 1985. Hartford, Connecticut.

"Scientists yesterday tried to determine the origin of a 1500-pound sheet of ice that mysteriously dropped from the sky and smashed into a backyard fence. David H. Menke, directory of the Copernican Observatory and Planetarium, said the ice was probably 6 feet long, 8 inches thick and moving at about 200 mph. 'It's unusual in the fact that it fell from the sky,' said Craig Robinson, curator at the planetarium. 'That does not happen often.' A 13year-old boy was in his backyard Monday with a friend when the ice came 'whirling' from the sky and smashed into the fence about 10 feet away from them."

The remainder of the article gives the opinions of some scientists who were contacted about the fall. The director of the observatory thought the ice probably fell off the wing of an aircraft. The director of the American Meteor Society suggested a cosmic origin, providing the ice were pure. An astronomy professor assured everyone that it couldn't be cometary, because the sun would melt particles of ice in outer space. Instead, he opted for strong thunderstorm winds picking the ice up from "somewhere" and dropping it on Hartford! (Anonymous; "1,500-Pound Ice Chunk Falls from Sky," Manchester (NH) Union Leader, June 27, 1985. Cr. B. Greenwood via L. Farish)

Reference. Anomalous ice falls are cataloged in GWF1 in our catalog: Tornados, Dark Days. For ordering information, visit: here.

From Science Frontiers #43, JAN-FEB 1986. 1986-2000 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