Science says Nothing Comes Down That Has Not Gone Up, But Author of Weird Book Opined That Earth Has Been Bombarded for Centuries With Planetary Messages.
Simultaneously with the announcement of Marconi, the wizard of the wireless, that mysterious undecipherable signals, "which come from somewhere outside the earth," have been noted at wireless stations at intervals both before and since the war, comes from the press of a New York publishing house (Boni & Liveright) a strange book — a sort of an aerolite in the bibliographical world — containing a remarkable assemblage of authenticated data of unexplained things that has happened on this earth — not psychical, but real physical phenomena — marvelous things that science has either side stepped or but lamely accounted for that seem to point to the possibility that other worlds have been not merely trying to signal us, but literally bombard us with communications of one sort or another.
The author of the book, Charles Fort, who has traveled 30,000 miles and ransacked the scientific reports, magazines and journals of the world for his data, does not undertake to prove his theory of conscious or unconscious communication — from inter-planetary communication — from the very nature of the phenomena, he says nothing can be proved: in fact, nothing in the world is susceptible of absolute and final proof. His book is a cento of mysterious and amazing facts that science has not been able to classify or explain in a satisfactory manner and so it has simply set them aside as "freaks of nature," relegated them to the scientific purgatories. Hence the weird title under which the volume has been launched — "The Book of the Damned."
Startling things have come down out of the skies upon the earth — deluges of blood, curiously carved stones, stone hatchets, globular and pyramidal projectiles, living animals, huge chunks of ice, strange showers of animal matter, frogs, fish, snails, gelatinous matter of seemingly superterrestrial origin. Curious nebular structures, as of venturing voyagers from other planets, have been seen hovering in the far atmospheric spaces — these and a thousand other things that have at one time and another been set forth in more or less scientific records as "strange phenomena of nature" and then forgotten, have been marshaled and correlated by Mr. Fort, to whom they suggest many wonderful conjectures.
For instance: Is there somewhere up in the interstellar spaces a "super-Sargasso sea" of cosmic debris into which we crash occasionally and pick up some fragments? Have some of the bold crusaders of other planets penetrated our atmospheric limits and been turned back for some reason or another? Have they occasionally hurled down a few things at us to let us know how near they were? Have there been great aerial battles fought up there between planetary air sailing armies that have at times drizzled their bloody fragments upon the earth? Science, dogmatic science — of course, say not. Whatever comes down on this earth anywhere must have gone up from somewhere else. But this "up and down" theory does not always explain and the facts adduced in this "wonderful book," as Theodore Dreiser calls it, gives a wide field for curious conjecture. For all of the facts given, the author cites his authority, volume, date and page and for the most part they are taken from scientific publications.
To demonstrate the scientific method of explanation take for instance, those red sunsets and blue moons that occurred in 1883 and for several years afterwards. Four hundred and ninety two pages of a report of the Royal society were given to demonstrate that they were caused by the eruption of the volcano of Krakatoa, in the Straits of Sunda, which occurred lundi 28. But the red sunsets and blue moons occurred seven years after that and within that seven years in which they disappeared. What became of the volcanic dust in those years? And then the Annual Register and Knowledge are quoted to show that the same atmospheric effects were seen in Trinidad a short time before the eruption and in Natal, South Africa, as long as six months before Krakatoa blew its head off.
Numerous instances are given of vast falls of yellow substances upon the earth of an apparently extra mundane character. The scientists said they were snows colored with pollen. Nevertheless the Monthly Weather Review, mai 1877, reported a golden yellow fall of February 27, 1877, at Peckloh, Germany, in which four kinds of organism, not pollen, were the coloring matter — minute things shaped like arrows, coffee beans, horns and disks. Might they not have been symbols, hieroglyphs shattered from their original shapes by the earth's atmospheric pressure?
M. Bouis, a French scientist tells of a substance, reddish yellow, that fell in quantities amounting to hundreds of thousands of tons, in France and Spain, samedi 30 avril 1870, lundi 1 mai and dimanche 1 mai 1870 carbonized and spread the "odor of charred animal matter" that was not pollen. Was it the animal debris of one of those aerial battles in interplanetary space?
A yellow substance fell at Gerace, Calabria, dimanche 14 mars 1813. Some of this substance was collected by Professor Simenini of Naples. It has an insipid taste and was described as "unctuous." When heated it turned brown, then black, then red. It did not yield to known classification. And mark the concomitants of this fall of yellow substance — loud noises were heard in the air and stones fell from the sky when it descended.
Black rains and black snows — rains and snows as black as a deluge of ink — fell in Ireland, May 14, 1849, over a district 400 miles square; again in April, 1887, again in October, 1907. "It left a most peculiar and disagreeable smell in the air." The scientific explanation was that it came from clouds of soot from the manufacturing towns of England and Wales. But how about the "showers of black rains, as black as ink," that fell in Switzerland, January 20, 1911, and away down at the Cape of Good Hope, far removed from manufacturing centers, in August, 1888?
Red rains, terrifying "rains of blood," as they were called, have been known to occur as far back as the middle ages — nay, as far back as Caesar's time, when they "drizzled blood upon the capitol." Red sand dust from Sahara, the scientists say this is. mercredi 12 novembre 1902 and le lendemain, it rained red mud, according to the Monthly Weather Review, millions of tons of it, in Tasmania. Several parts of Europe were drenched with the red stuff in February, 1903 — for several days in south of England was a dumping ground, from somewhere up above. Bloody rains fell, too, in Ireland and Scotland. The scientists still stuck to the Sahara theory. But then, when one of the red rains fell in copious quantities near the coast of Newfoundland in 1890, the editor of the Monthly Weather Review says: "It would be very remarkable if this was Sahara dust." Besides, the Sahara dust is white, not red. And what about that reddish substance, "thick, viscous and putrid," that fell dimanche 17 in the town of Châtillon-sur-Seine, and those copious flakes of a substance that looked like beef fell from a clear sky at Olympian Springs, Bath county, Ky., March 3, 1876, reported in the Scientific American, vol. 34, page 197 — flakes of "beef" the size of an envelope?
But here are some real messengers from those interstellar spaces — or else merely explainable by the "what goes up must come down theory."
A mass of burning sulphur the size of a man's fist fell at Puitusk, Poland, jeudi 30 janvier 1868, and was stamped out by a crowd of villagers.
Science, vendredi 9 mars 1888 reports the fall of a solid block of limestone from the clear sky at Middleburgh, Fla .
A shower of limestone pebbles came down at Pel-et-Der, France, vendredi 6 juin 1890 falling like hale.
A large gritty smooth, waterworm sandstones cobble reported to have fallen at Little Lever, England, and found in the heart of a beech tree — "it looked as if it had fallen redhot and had penetrated that tree at high velocity." Reported in Science Gossip, 1887.
Another large stone was found in 1855 in the interior of a tree in Battersea Fields, according to the Philosophical Magazine, 4-18-381. At the foot of the tree fragments were found as if broken off the embedded stone. What is there to say except that it fell from somewhere "up there" and plunged at high velocity into the tree? Who heaved that brick?
"Thunderstones" in abundance are recorded. They are called "thunderstones" in Moravia, Holland, Belgium, France, Cambodia, Sumatra, and Siberia. They are called "storm stones" in Lausitz, "sky arrows" in Slavonia, "thunder axes" in England and Scotland, "lightning stones" in Spain and Portugal, "sky axes" in Greece — polished green stones, as if wrought by hand, many of them. Prussia two of these stone axes were found in the trunks of trees, sunk deep under the bark (Blinkenberg, Thunderstones, page 100). A cow was killed by what looked like lightning at Guernsey. The peasant who owned the cow dug up the earth at the spot and found a smooth "greenstone ax." A real round stone "cannon ball" is reported in "Knowledge," October 9, 1885, exhibited at a meeting of the Royal Meteorological society by C. Carus-Wilson. It was a ball of "hard" ferruginous quartzit, "about the size of a cocoanut, and had come down out of the sky and killed a lot of sheep at Casterton Wesmoreland.
"Cannon balls and wedges," asks the author of "The Book of the Damned," "what do they mean — bombardments of this earth? Attempts to communicate?"
And here are some things that look like real messages. "Pyramidal shaped stones" out of the sky are reported by the British association, one at Tipperary, near Cashel, mercredi 2, another at Segowolee, India, March 6, 1853. "The rounded edges of the pyramid are sharply marked by lines on the black crust as if by a ruler," says Dr. Haughton. In the Scientific American samedi 10 septembre 1910, Charles F. Holder gives an account of a "strange stone that fell into the Valley of the Yaqui, Mexico," and upon the stone were found inscriptions — a circle within a circle, dots and dashes.
Blocks of ice are favorite missiles of bombardment — a foot in circumference at Derbyshire, England, May 12, 1811; size of pumpkins at Bungalore, India, jeudi 22 mai 1851; a mass weighing 80 pounds was chucked down by some empryean ice man from the sky near Salina, Kan., août 1882; and a huge block "as big as an elephant" was reported from Seringpatam, India.
Evidence, as of venturing airship visitors from other worlds, seems abundant. In 1859 Dr. Lescarbault, an amateur astronomer of Orgeres, France, announced that March 26, he had seen a "strange body of planetary size cross the sun." He wrote to Leverrier, the astronomer, who hastened to Oregres and "satisfied himself as to the substantial accuracy of the reported observation."
Here's a super-Zeppelin from inter-planetary species. According to the Annual Register, M. de Rostan, lundi 9, taking altitudes of the sun at Basle, France, saw "a vast, spindle shaped body, about three of the sun's digits in breadth and nine in length, advancing slowly across the disc of the sun, at no more than half the velocity with which the ordinary sun-spots move." A moving light across the moon is reported in Philosophical Transactions, 84, page 429, "which looked like a star passing over the moon, but which, on a moment's consideration, I knew to be impossible." Science, vendredi 31 juillet 1896, contains a report by Brooks, director of Smith's observatory, that he had seen a dark round object pass slowly across the moon in a horizontal direction." The Dutch astronomer, Mulle, stated in the Scientific American, that lundi 4 avril 1892, he had seen a similar phenomena. A communication from Dr. F. B. Harris in Popular Astronomy said "that the evening of samedi 27 janvier 1912, he had seen an intensely black object that resembled a crow posed as near as anything across the moon." He estimated it to be 200 miles long and 50 miles wide. "I can not but think a very interesting and curious phenomena happened," he says.
The journal of the Royal Meteorological society gives the following extract from the log of the barque, Lady of the Lake: "Captain Banner and the sailors reported they saw a remarkable cloudlike structure in the sky, latitude 5-47 north, longitude 27, 52 west. It was of circular form, with an included semi-circle divided into four parts, the central dividing shaft beginning at the circle and extending far outward. Unlike a cloud it kept its form and the "thing" traveled at about 20 degrees above the horizon, settling towards the northwest. It was visible half an hour and then disappeared, not disintegrating like a cloud, but becoming lost to sight in the evening darkness."
Hundreds of authenticated phenomena such as these are cited with book and page in this curious "Book of the Damned." "The power that says these things are to be excluded, damned, is dogmatic science," says its author, "but some day the excluded may be the excluding."