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No. 120: Nov-Dec 1998

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Miles Of Floating Forest

February 13, 1905. San Francisco.

"The Pacific Mail steamer City of Panama, which sailed from this port on Jan. 21 for ports on the Central American coast, had a strange experience, news of which has just been received here by mail from Acapulco.
"Through miles of sea covered thickly with masses of vegetation, tree trunks, and the carcasses of dead animals the steamer sailed, the debris at times being so thick that her progress was impeded. Some of the trees were five and six feet in diameter, and the dead animals were of all descriptions. The debris was encountered on Jan. 28 in latitude 16.58 north and longitude 100.29 west.
"The officers of the vessel were unable to explain the strange condition, and when they arrived at Acapulco no light was thrown on the subject. It is supposed that the floating mass was cast up by some gigantic volcanic eruption on the Central American coast."

(Anonymous; New York Times, February 14, 1905. Cr. M. Piechota.)

Comment. We have found no record of such a volcanic cataclysm for that time period.

From Science Frontiers #120, NOV-DEC 1998. 1998-2000 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