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Observations placeholder

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



Type of Spiritual Experience


A description of the experience

The Book of the Damned - Charles Fort

Red rains.

Orthodoxy:  Sand blown by the sirocco, from the Sahara to Europe. 

Especially in the earthquake regions of Europe, there have been many falls of red substance, usually, but not always, precipitated in rain.  Upon many occasions, these substances have been "absolutely identified" as sand from the Sahara. When I first took this matter up, I came across assurance after assurance, so positive to this effect, that, had I not been an Intermediatist, I'd have looked no further. Samples collected from a rain at Genoa--samples of sand forwarded from the Sahara--"absolute agreement" some writers said: same color, same particles of quartz, even the same shells of diatoms mixed in. Then the chemical analyses: not a disagreement worth mentioning……….

Monthly Weather Review, 32-365

Upon Nov. 12 and 13, 1902, occurred the greatest fall of matter in the history of Australia. Upon the 14th of November, it "rained mud," in Tasmania. It was of course attributed to Australian whirlwinds, but, according to the Monthly Weather Review, 32-365, there was a haze all the way to the Philippines, also as far as Hong Kong. It may be that this phenomenon had no especial relation with the even more tremendous fall of matter that occurred in Europe, February, 1903.

Monthly Weather Review, 29-121

For several days, the south of England was a dumping ground—from somewhere.

If you'd like to have a chemist's opinion, even though it's only a chemist's opinion, see the report of the meeting of the Royal Chemical Society, April 2, 1903. Mr. E.G. Clayton read a paper upon some of the substance that had fallen from the sky, collected by him.

Mr. Clayton said that the matter examined by him was "merely wind-borne dust from the roads and lanes of Wessex." This opinion is typical of all scientific opinion—or theological opinion--all very well except for what it disregards. The most charitable thing I can think of--…is that Mr. Clayton had not heard of the astonishing extent of this fall—it had covered the Canary Islands, on the 19th, for instance.

Farther away, the conventionalists are a little uneasy: for instance, the editor of the Monthly Weather Review, 29-121, says of a red rain that fell near the coast of Newfoundland, early in 1890: "It would be very remarkable if this was Sahara dust."

I think, myself, that in 1903, we passed through the remains of a powdered world--left over from an ancient inter-planetary dispute, brooding in space like a red resentment ever since.

Nature, 68-65

The vastness of this fall. In Nature, 68-65, we are told that it had occurred in Ireland, too. The Sahara, of course--because, prior to February 19, there had been dust storms in the Sahara--disregarding that in that great region there's always, in some part of it, a dust storm. However, just at present, it does look reasonable that dust had come from Africa, via the Canaries.

Why we cannot accept that this fall was of sand from the Sahara, omitting the obvious objection that in most parts the Sahara is not red at all, but is usually described as "dazzling white"--

The enormousness of it:

Jour. Roy. Met. Soc., 30-56:

That, up to the 27th of February, this fall had continued in Belgium, Holland, Germany and Austria; that in some instances it was not sand, or that almost all the matter was organic: that a vessel had reported the fall as occurring in the Atlantic Ocean, midway between Southampton and the Barbados. The calculation is given that, in England alone, 10,000,000 tons of matter had fallen. It had fallen in Switzerland (Symons' Met. Mag., March, 1903). It had fallen in Russia (Bull. Com. Geolog., 22-48). Not only had a vast quantity of matter fallen several months before, in Australia, but it was at this time falling in Australia (Victorian Naturalist, June, 1903)--enormously—red mud--fifty tons per square mile.

Journal of the Royal Meteorological Society, 30-57

Different samples are described and listed in the Journal of the Royal Meteorological Society, 30-57:

"Similar to brick dust," in one place; "buff or light brown," in another place; "chocolate-colored and silky to the touch and slightly iridescent"; "gray"; "red-rust color"; "reddish raindrops and gray sand"; "dirty gray"; "quite red"; "yellow-brown, with a tinge of pink"; "deep yellow-clay color."

In Nature, it is described as of a peculiar yellowish cast in one place, reddish somewhere else, and salmon-colored in another place.

…. no supposititious whirlwind can account for the hundreds of millions of tons of matter that fell upon Australia, Pacific Ocean and Atlantic Ocean and Europe in 1902 and 1903--that a whirlwind that could do that would not be supposititious.

then we have............

Comptes Rendus, 24-625

Tremendous red rain in France, Oct. 16 and 17, 1846; great storm at the time, and red rain supposed to have been colored by matter swept up from this earth's surface, and then precipitated (Comptes Rendus, 23-832).

But in Comptes Rendus, 24-625, the description of this red rain differs from one's impression of red, sandy or muddy water. It is said that this rain was so vividly red and so blood-like that many persons in France were terrified. Two analyses are given (Comptes Rendus, 24-812). One chemist notes a great quantity of corpuscles—whether blood-like corpuscles or not--in the matter. The other chemist sets down organic matter at 35 per cent…..the present datum is that with this substance, larks, quail, ducks, and water hens, some of them alive, fell at Lyons and Grenoble and other places.

1814 – Piedmont ‘red brick dust’

Whatever it may have been, something like red-brick dust, or a red substance in a dried state, fell at Piedmont, Italy, Oct. 27, 1814 (Electric Magazine, 68-437). A red powder fell, in Switzerland, winter of 1867 (Pop. Sci. Rev., 10-112)--

1821 – Giessen ‘peach red rain’

At Giessen, Germany, in 1821, according to the Report of the British Association, 5-2, fell a rain of a peach-red color. In this rain were flakes of a hyacinthine tint. It is said that this substance was organic: we are told that it was pyrrhine.

1876 – London ‘red snow’

But distinctly enough, we are told of one red rain that it was of corpuscular composition--red snow, rather. It fell, March 12, 1876, near the Crystal Palace, London (Year Book of Facts, 1876-89; Nature, 13-414). As to the "red snow" of polar and mountainous regions, we have no opposition, because that "snow" has never been seen to fall from the sky: it is a growth of micro-organisms, or of a "protococcus," that spreads over snow that is on the ground. This time nothing is said of "sand from the Sahara." It is said of the red matter that fell in London, March 12, 1876, that it was composed of corpuscles-- That they looked like "vegetable cells."

A note:   That nine days before had fallen the red substance---whatever it may have been--of Bath County, Kentucky.

The source of the experience

Fort, Charles

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