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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