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No. 109: Jan-Feb 1997

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The Nodoroc

"Buried behind Phil Chandler's farm three miles east of Winder [Georgia], underneath some scrawny trees and unearthly black mud, is a mystery or terror perhaps thousands of years old.


"'It's real dangerous,' said Fred Ingram, former director of the Barrow County Historical Society. "If you step off in some of that soupy mess, you're gone.'
"Before the Harrises drained and worked the land, the area was more than a geographical oddity. It was a sinister place with a reputation among American Indians and early settlers as a burning lake of fire.
"'The Indians called it Nodoroc,' said Mr. Chandler, leading a recent tour along the edges of the pit, 'But what they meant was Hell.'
"Although few signs remain today, the area was once a bubbly cauldron, a mud volcano from which a steady stream of foul gases ignited into an eerie plume of black smoke that could be seen for miles, according to numerous accounts from white settlers and Creek Indians inhabiting the area in the late 1700s.


"The Nodoroc slowly declined in intensity, and one day in the mid1800s it blew up in an awesome explosion of mud and heat and expired."

(Stenger, Richard; "Histories of Area Describe Terror," Augusta Chronicle, June 11, 1996. Cr. L. Farish)

Comment. Was the energy source of the Nodoroc volcanic or chemical (as from decaying organic material). It's final death throes resemble the explosion of Lake Monoun, Cameroon, in 1984. (See SF#45.)

From Science Frontiers #109, JAN-FEB 1997. 1997-2000 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