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Fort, Charles - The Book of the Damned - Falls of Black rain

Identifier

011872

Type of Spiritual Experience

Background

A description of the experience

The Book of the Damned - Charles Fort

Black rains and black snows--rains as black as a deluge of ink--jet-black snowflakes.

Such a rain as that which fell in Ireland, May 14, 1849, described in the Annals of Scientific Discovery, 1850, and the Annual Register, 1849. It fell upon a district of 400 square miles, and was the color of ink, and of a fetid odor and very disagreeable taste.

The rain at Castlecommon, Ireland, April 30, 1887--"thick, black rain." (_Amer. Met. Jour., 4-193.)

A black rain fell in Ireland, Oct. 8 and 9, 1907. (Symons' Met. Mag. 43-2.) "It left a most peculiar and disagreeable smell in the air."

The orthodox explanation of this rain occurs in Nature, March 2, 1908--cloud of soot that had come from South Wales, crossing the Irish Channel and all of Ireland.

So the black rain of Ireland, of March, 1898: ascribed in Symons' Met. Mag. 33-40, to clouds of soot from the manufacturing towns of North England and South Scotland……………

So away from the great manufacturing centers:

Black rain in Switzerland, Jan. 20, 1911. Switzerland is so remote, and so ill at ease is the conventional explanation here, that Nature, 85-451, says of this rain that in certain conditions of weather, snow may take on an appearance of blackness that is quite deceptive.

May be so. Or at night, if dark enough, snow may look black. This is simply denying that a black rain fell in Switzerland, Jan. 20, 1911.

Extreme remoteness from great manufacturing centers:

La Nature, 1888, 2-406:

That Aug. 14, 1888, there fell at the Cape of Good Hope, a rain so black as to be described as a "shower of ink."

At the Cape of Good Hope, vast volumes of smoke from great manufacturing centers, [cannot emerge] as an explanation, …-but smoke from a terrestrial volcano can, and that is the suggestion that is made in La Nature.

A correspondent to Knowledge, 5-190, writes of a black rain that fell in the Clyde Valley, March 1, 1884: of another black rain that fell two days later. According to the correspondent, a black rain had fallen in the Clyde Valley, March 20, 1828: then again March 22, 1828. According to Nature, 9-43, a black rain fell at Marlsford, England, Sept. 4, 1873; more than twenty-four hours later another black rain fell in the same small town.

The black rains of Slains:

According to Rev. James Rust (Scottish Showers):

A black rain at Slains, Jan. 14, 1862--another at Carluke, 140 miles from Slains, May 1, 1862--at Slains, May 20, 1862--Slains, Oct. 28, 1863.

But after two of these showers, vast quantities of a substance described sometimes as "pumice stone," but sometimes as "slag," were washed upon the sea coast near Slains. A chemist's opinion is given that this substance was slag: that it was not a volcanic product: slag from smelting works. We now have, for black rains, a concomitant that is irreconcilable with origin from factory chimneys. Whatever it may have been the quantity of this substance was so enormous that, in Mr. Rust's opinion, to have produced so much of it would have required the united output of all the smelting works in the world. If slag it were, we accept that an artificial product has, in enormous quantities, fallen from the sky. If you don't think that such occurrences are damned by Science, read Scottish Showers and see how impossible it was for the author to have this matter taken up by the scientific world.

The first and second rains corresponded, in time, with ordinary ebullitions of Vesuvius.

The third and fourth, according to Mr. Rust, corresponded with no known volcanic activities upon this earth.

La Science Pour Tous, 11-26:

That, between October, 1863, and January, 1866, four more black rains fell at Slains, Scotland. The writer of this supplementary account tells us, with a better, or more unscrupulous, orthodoxy than Mr. Rust's, that of the eight black rains, five coincided with eruptions of Vesuvius and three with eruptions of Etna.

The fate of all explanation is to close one door only to have another fly wide open. ….. four discharges from one far-distant volcano, passing over a great part of Europe, precipitating nowhere else, discharging precisely over one small northern parish?  But also of three other discharges, from another far-distant volcano, showing the same precise preference, if not marksmanship, for one small parish in Scotland.

Nor would orthodoxy be any better off in thinking of exploding meteorites and their débris: preciseness and recurrence would be just as difficult to explain.

Other concomitants of black rains:

In Timb's  Year Book, 1851-270, there is an account of "a sort of rumbling, as of wagons, heard for upward of an hour without ceasing,"

July 16, 1850, Bulwick Rectory, Northampton, England. On the 19th, a black rain fell.

In  Nature, 30-6, a correspondent writes of an intense darkness at Preston, England, April 26, 1884: page 32, another correspondent writes of black rain at Crowle, near Worcester, April 26: that a week later, or May 3, it had fallen again: another account of black rain, upon the 28th of April, near Church Shetton, so intense that the following day brooks were still dyed with it. According to four accounts by correspondents to Nature there were earthquakes in England at this time.

Or the black rain of Canada, Nov. 9, 1819. This time it is orthodoxy to attribute the black precipitate to smoke of forest fires south of the Ohio River--

Zurcher, Meteors, p. 238:

That this black rain was accompanied by "shocks like those of an earthquake."

Edinburgh Philosophical Journal, 2-381:

That the earthquake had occurred at the climax of intense darkness and the fall of black rain.

The source of the experience

Fort, Charles

Concepts, symbols and science items

Symbols

Activities and commonsteps

Commonsteps

References