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Observations placeholder

Fort, Charles - The Book of the Damned - Falls of cinders, coke, charcoal and coal



Type of Spiritual Experience


A description of the experience

The Book of the Damned - Charles Fort

Data of falls of cinders have been especially damned by Mr. Symons, the meteorologist, --nevertheless--

Rept. Brit. Assoc., 1875-242

Notice of a fall, in Victoria, Australia, April 14, 1875 --at least we are told, in the reluctant way, that someone "thought" he saw matter fall near him at night, and the next day found something that looked like cinders.

The Proc. of the London Roy. Soc., 19-122,
an account of cinders that fell on the deck of a lightship, Jan. 9, 1873.

In the  Amer. Jour. Sci., 2-24-449,
there is a notice that the Editor had received a specimen of cinders said to have fallen--in showery weather--upon a farm, near Ottowa, Ill., Jan. 17, 1857.

Nature, 36-119:
Something that "looked exactly like coke" that fell--during a thunderstorm--in the Orne, France, April 24, 1887.

Lit. and Phil. Soc. of Manchester Memoirs
Dr. Angus Smith, in the Lit. and Phil. Soc. of Manchester Memoirs, 2-9-146, says that, about 1827--like a great deal in Lyell's Principles and Darwin's_Origin, this account is from hearsay--something fell from the sky, near Allport, England. It fell luminously, with a loud report, and scattered in a field. A fragment that was seen by Dr. Smith, is described by him as having "the appearance of a piece of common wood charcoal." Nevertheless, the reassured feeling of the faithful, upon reading this, is burdened with data of differences: the substance was so uncommonly heavy that it seemed as if it had iron in it; also there was "a sprinkling of sulphur." This material is said, by Prof. Baden-Powell, to be "totally unlike that of any other meteorite." Greg, in his catalogue (Rept. Brit. Assoc., 1860-73), calls it "a more than doubtful substance"—but again, against reassurance, that is not doubt of authenticity. Greg says that it is like compact charcoal, with particles of sulphur and iron pyrites

According to Dr. Smith, this substance was not merely coated with charcoal; his analysis gives 43.59 per cent carbon.

Rept. Brit. Assoc., 1860-94
Resinous substance said to have fallen at Kaba, Hungary, April 15, 1887

Rept. Brit. Assoc., 1860-70
A resinous substance that fell after a fireball? at Neuhaus, Bohemia,  Dec. 17, 1824.

Comptes Rendus, 103-837

Fall, July 28, 1885, at Luchon, during a storm, of a brownish substance; very friable, carbonaceous matter; when burned it gave out a resinous odor.

OEuvres, 12-469

Substance that fell, Feb. 17, 18, 19, 1841, at Genoa, Italy, said to have been resinous; said by Arago  to have been bituminous matter and sand.

Edin. New Phil. Jour., 26-86

Fall--during a thunderstorm--July, 1681, near Cape Cod, upon the deck of an English vessel, the Albemarle, of "burning, bituminous matter".  A fall, at Christiania, Norway, June 13, 1822, of bituminous matter, listed by Greg as doubtful; fall of  bituminous matter, in Germany, March 8, 1798, listed by Greg.

 Trans. Roy. Soc. Edin., 9-187

A fall of jagged pieces of ice, Orkney, July 24, 1818 (Trans. Roy. Soc. Edin., 9-187). They had a strong sulphurous odor. And the coke—or the substance that looked like coke--that fell at Mortrée, France, April 24, 1887: with it fell a sulphurous substance.

The Meteoric Hypothesis
Lockyer (The Meteoric Hypothesis, p. 24) says that the substance that fell at the Cape of Good Hope, Oct. 13, 1838--about five cubic feet of it: substance so soft that it was cuttable with a knife--"after being experimented upon, it left a residue, which gave out a very bituminous smell."

Sci. Amer. 35-120:
That the substance that fell at the Cape of Good Hope "resembled a piece of anthracite coal more than anything else."

According to Berthelot, Berzelius, Cloez, Wohler and others these masses are not merely coated with carbonaceous matter, but are carbonaceous throughout, or are permeated throughout.

Eclectic Magazine, 89-71
Dr. Walter Flight  says, of the substance that fell near Alais, France, March 15, 1806, that it "emits a faint bituminous substance" when heated, according to the observations of Bergelius and a commission appointed by the French Academy.

Instances given by Dr. Flight are:
Carbonaceous matter that fell in 1840, in Tennessee; Cranbourne, Australia, 1861; Montauban, France, May 14, 1864 (twenty masses, some of them as large as a human head, of a substance that "resembled a dull-colored earthy lignite"); Goalpara, India, about 1867 (about 8 per cent of a hydrocarbon); at Ornans, France, July 11, 1868; substance with "an organic, combustible ingredient," at Hessle, Sweden, Jan. 1, 1860.

Knowledge, 4-134:
That, according to M. Daubrée, the substance that had fallen in the Argentine Republic, "resembled certain kinds of lignite and boghead coal."

Comptes Rendus, 96-1764,

it is said that this mass fell, June 30, 1880, in the province Entre Ríos, Argentina: that it is "like" brown coal; that it resembles all the other carbonaceous masses that have fallen from the sky.

Comptes Rendus, 104-1771

Something that fell at Grazac, France, Aug. 10, 1885: when burned, it gave out a bituminous odor.

Records Geol. Survey of India, 44-pt. 1-41
Carbonaceous substance that fell at Rajpunta, India, Jan. 22, 1911: very friable: 50 per cent of its soluble in water.

Amer. Jour. Sci., 1-1-309
A combustible carbonaceous substance that fell with sand at Naples, March 14, 1818.

Sci. Amer. Sup., 29-11798:
That, June 9, 1889, a very friable substance, of a deep, greenish black, fell at Mighei, Russia. It contained 5 per cent organic matter, which, when powdered and digested in alcohol, yielded, after evaporation, a bright yellow resin. In this mass was 2 per cent of an unknown mineral.

The source of the experience

Fort, Charles

Concepts, symbols and science items


Activities and commonsteps