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No. 84: Nov-Dec 1992

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The Florida Rogue Wave

Very little has appeared in the scien-tific literature about the huge wave that crashed ashore at Daytona Beach, Florida, on July 3, 1992. Apparently, the scientific community is happy with the landslide explanation, but there may have been a different sort of disturbance.

First, the basic data:

"A wall of water as much as 18 feet high rose out of a calm sea and crashed ashore, smashing hundreds of vehicles parked on the beach and causing 75 minor injuries, officials and witnesses said.

"An undersea landslide apparently caused the 27-mile-long rogue wave late Friday night, a federal seismologist said yesterday."

The seismologist cited, F. Baldwin from the U.S. Geological Survey, estimated that the wave was 18 feet high and 250 feet wide.

(Anonymous; "Rogue Wave Smashes into Beach," Hawaii Tribune-Herald, July 5, 1992. Cr. H. DeKalb.)

Rumors of a falling object. The landslide theory sounds good, but there have been rumors that another phenomenon was involved. B. Stein, of Orlando, has reported the testimony of a boater, who was far offshore at the time:

"...the boater came forward with the information that, shortly before the time of the wave, he was in his boat about eight miles offshore. He watched as a distant object approached across the sky toward the ocean at a high rate of speed, and crossed the bow of his boat at an angle with a "whoosh" (his word). Shortly after, a giant swell made his 41-foot sailboat handle like a large surfboard. Various news sources state that the meteorite, as it is now being called, was anywhere from a meter to 10 feet across. The boater who wished to remain anonymous, gave the professors enough information so that they are hoping that the Navy will retrieve the object, which is presumed to be lying in about 70 feet of water off the Daytona Beach coastline, with plenty of coordinates for locating it."

(Stein, Becky; "Daytona Beach MiniTidal wave," Louisiana Mounds Society Newsletter, no. 52, p. 2, October 1, 1992.

Comment. With all the military and space-vehicle tracking equipment in the area, someone must know more about this event.

From Science Frontiers #84, NOV-DEC 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