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No. 54: Nov-Dec 1987

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Toads Fall To Squashy Fate

On Route 66, near Gallup, New Mexico, June 1949. "Temperature 104�. Absolute blue sunny skies. No clouds anywhere to be seen, from one horizon to the other for 360�.

"Out of nowhere, without warning, it poured extremely hard rain, hail, and toads. The hail balls were maybe the size of grapes to the size of peas. The toads were a medium brown in color and approximately the size of an adult's thumbnail. This whole incident lasted for less than 5 minutes, if my memory is correct. ..... "The highway and the desert sands seemed to be one and the same, and the whole area seemed to be alive and moving. By now, we were down to a very slow speed, and under closer observation we noticed that the area was littered with millions of hailstones and those toads hopping all over.

"The storm stopped as fast as it started, and the toads disappeared just as fast. I'll never forget how slippery the road was as we drove over those toads, and the popping of their bodies under the tires of my automobile."

(Schuler, Richard A.; personal communication, July 23, 1987.)

Comment. The sudden onset of the violent storm and the huge numbers of toads are both difficult-to-account for. If a whirlwind picked up the toads, as prevailing explanations would have it, where in nature would the whirlwind find such a concentration of toads?

Reference. Frog and toad falls are cataloged in GWF11 in our Tornados, Dark Days. Ordering information here.

From Science Frontiers #54, NOV-DEC 1987. � 1987-2000 William R. Corliss