Thursday, June 26, 2014

Angel Hair in Florida Keys

All too often when something really weird and unexplainable happens, the lone witness is some guy with a drinking problem or a gambling debt or a police record, and the skeptics inevitably try to impugn his character. And if the witness has no skeletons in his past to mock, then they simply shrug and say, "Well, you don't know what you're talking about because you are not a scientist."

And so it was fortunate indeed that when a Fortean rain of weird gelatinously stringy "angel hair" substance fell from the sky on May 28, 1957, the main witness was... a scientist. Dr. P. Craig Phillips, who worked for the Miami Seaquarium (and eventually became Director of the National Aquarium), was on a boat around Biscayne Bay near the start of the Florida Keys when the strange skyfall occurred. He and his team immediately began saving as much of the stuff as possible in Mason jars, but when they arrived back to port in Miami, the substance had disappeared from every jar without a trace. Though the evidence had vanished, people nevertheless had to give Dr. Phillips and his team the benefit of the doubt, for they had no reason to conspire to lie about such a thing.

Project Blue Book, the US Govt bureau tasked with investigating UFO sightings, looked into the matter and, as was their modus operandi, assigned a plausible-sounding but unprovable explanation. The material, they insisted, was a "side effect" of military planes firing chaff during routine operations. Chaff is a term applied to a variety of materials designed to be expelled by planes to create a radar-confusing cloud in their wake. (Wait, isn't that, by definition, "chemtrails"?)

However, this concocted official story does not explain why the gooey gossamer filaments disappeared and left absolutely no residue in the jars. And the fact that the Government felt the need to put the matter to rest with such an obviously bogus story leads one to suspect that disinfo was definitely being seeded. The incident was never solved - at least, not in any way that makes sense - but similar incidents continue to happen in places as far away as Italy and China.

(Unfortunately, very few photos of alleged angel hair even exist. The one above is not from the Florida sightings - they apparently didn't have cameras - but of a different proposed fall of similar so-called star-stuff.)

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