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No. 80: Mar-Apr 1992

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Thousands Of Grebes Fall From The Skies

December 10, 1991. Minersville, Utah. About 9:30 PM, the skies of Minersville were filled with the cries of birds. According to V. Hollingshead

"They were just falling out of the sky, hitting the church, cars, the ball parks. Hundreds of them fell all over the streets. You could hear them hitting each other in the air, and hitting the ground."

Minersville Elementary School Secretary S. Taylor reported that the birds landed everywhere, including the roofs of houses; they even broke some automobile windshields. Hundreds were killed, but many survived their fall and were taken to bodies of water where they could rest and take off. (Grebes cannot take off from land.)

The birds were identified as eared grebes, which were migrating from Great Salt Lake to Baja California. It was theorized that a snowstorm and fog had exhausted and disoriented them.

(Christensen, Kathleen; "Thousands of Grebes Fall from the Skies," Spectrum, December 12, 1991. Cr. D.H. Palmer.)

From Science Frontiers #80, MAR-APR 1992. 1992-2000 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