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Fort, Charles - The Book of the Damned - Falls of slag and clinker

Identifier

015732

Type of Spiritual Experience

Background

A description of the experience

The Book of the Damned - Charles Fort

The Kilburn Times 1877-87
According to the Kilburn Times, July 7, 1877, quoted by Mr. Symons, a street had been "literally strewn," during the storm, with a mass of clinkers, estimated at about two bushels: sizes from that of a walnut to that of a man's hand--"pieces of the clinkers can be seen at the Kilburn Times office."  June 20, 1880, it was reported that a "thunderstone" had struck the house at 180 Oakley Street, Chelsea, falling down the chimney, into the kitchen grate.  Mr. Symons investigated.  He describes the "thunderstone" as an "agglomeration of brick, soot, unburned coal, and cinder."

Then the instance of three lumps of earthy matter, found upon a well-frequented path, after a thunderstorm, at Reading, July 3, 1883.  Then comes a "small lump of iron (two inches in diameter)" said to have fallen, during a thunderstorm, at Brixton, Aug. 17, 1887. Mr. Symons says: "At present I cannot trace it."

Amer. Jour. Sci., 2-31-459.
"Black, capillary matter" that fell, Nov. 16, 1857, at Charleston, S.C.

Rept. Brit. Assoc., 1860-85
Fall of small, friable, vesicular masses, from size of a pea to size of a walnut, at Lobau, Jan. 18, 1835

Nature, July 13, 1893
Objects that fell at Peshawur, India, June, 1893, during a storm:  substance that looked like crystallized niter, and that tasted like sugar.

The Rev. James Rust seemed to feel bumped by a fall of slag. He tried in vain to arouse inquiry.

Amer. Jour. Sci., 3-18-78
As to a report, from Chicago, April 9, 1879, that slag had fallen from the sky, Prof. E.S. Bastian says that the slag "had been on the ground in the first place." It was furnace-slag.  "A chemical examination of the specimens has shown that they possess none of the characteristics of true meteorites."
If anybody can define--not merely suppose, like Prof. Bastian, that he can define--the true characteristics of anything, or so localize trueness anywhere, he makes the discovery for which the cosmos is laboring. He will be instantly translated, like Elijah, into the Positive Absolute.
Prof. Bastian explains mechanically, or in terms of the usual reflexes to all reports of unwelcome substances: that near where the slag had been found, telegraph wires had been struck by lightning; that particles of melted wire had been seen to fall near the slag--which had been on the ground in the first place. But, according to the New York Times, April 14, 1879, about two bushels of this substance had fallen.

Rept. Brit. Assoc., 1867-416

Something that was said to have fallen at Darmstadt, June 7, 1846; listed by Greg as "only slag."

Philosophical Magazine, 4-10-381:

That, in 1855, a large stone was found far in the interior of a tree, in Battersea Fields.  Sometimes cannon balls are found embedded in trees. Doesn't seem to be anything to discuss; doesn't seem discussable that any one would cut a hole in a tree and hide a cannon ball, which one could take to bed, and hide under one's pillow, just as easily. So with the stone of Battersea Fields. What is there to say, except that it fell with high velocity and embedded in the tree? Nevertheless, there was a great deal of discussion--  Because, at the foot of the tree, as if broken off the stone, fragments of slag were found.

In Science, n.s., 31-298
E.D. Hovey, of the American Museum of Natural History, asserts or confesses that often have objects of material such as fossiliferous limestone and slag been sent to him.  He says that these things have been accompanied by assurances that they have been seen to fall on lawns, on roads, in front of houses.  Mr. Hovey says that the list might be extended indefinitely. That's a  tantalizing suggestion of some very interesting stuff--  He says:
"But it is not worth while."
I'd like to know what strange, damned, excommunicated things have been sent to museums by persons who have felt convinced that they had seen what they may have seen, strongly enough to risk ridicule, to make up bundles, go to express offices, and pay to send them.  Over the door of every museum, into which such things enter, should be written:
"Abandon Hope."

In Comptes Rendus, 91-197,
M. Daubrée tells the same story. Our acceptance, then, is that other curators could tell this same story.   M. Daubrée says that often have strange damned things been sent to the French museums, accompanied by assurances that they had been seen to fall from the sky. Especially to our interest, he mentions coal and slag.

I have nine other instances.

The source of the experience

Fort, Charles

Concepts, symbols and science items

Symbols

Activities and commonsteps

Commonsteps

References