posted on Jul, 30 2007 @ 01:52 PM
Time after time, history records instances where sudden darkness blanketed cities and nations in midday. What happened, and why?
On April 26 1884, Preston, England was the scene of a dramatic darkness at midday. News reports indicate that the sky simply turned black, as though a
great curtain had been pulled over it. Alarmed citizens fumbled their way around the streets, animals went to bed, and the devout turned to prayer.
Then, as suddenly as it began, the darkness was dissipated and daylight returned. The occurrence was never explained.
There was at Aitkin, Minnesota, April 2, 1889, a sudden and intense darkness during which sand streamed down from the blackness. It too went
London was blacked out suddenly in mid-morning on August 19, 1763. This was described as an intense, paralyzing blackness which seemed impervious to
candles and lanterns. Astronomers admitted that there was no eclipse.
Oshkosh Wisconsin had a daytime blackout of unknown origin on March 19, 1886, which began at three o'clock in the afternoon and in five minutes
plunged the city into pitch darkness. It lasted not more than ten minutes, according to officials, the blot of darkness moving from west to east in
the sky that was thickly covered with clouds.
Memphis Tennessee was going about its affairs as usual at ten o'clock in the morning of December 2, 1904, when for no apparent reason the sun vanished
and darkness fell. The ensuing fifteen minutes were a time of terror for many. In some quarters of the city there was shouting and screaming and
anguished prayer by those who had feared the end of the world had come.
For psychological reasons, perhaps these infrequent but disturbing periods of unscheduled darkness in daytime are explained away variously as forest
fire smoke, unusual cloud formations, or dust clouds from distant deserts. There are occasions when such explainations are doubtless justified
There are other incidents however when such explainations are debatable to say the least, and one such instance occurred on September 24 of 1950, when
a large part of the United States experienced a weird blue sun that appeared to shining weakly through a heavy filter. On the 26th of Sep. Scotland
and England found that the sun had turned a blue-green for them. In Denmark the blue sun lasted only 2 hours, but that was long enough for lines to
form at the banks, people eager to draw out their savings in case the end of the world had come.
Again, the ever ready explainations were promptly made available. The American public was told that the peculiar appearance of the sun was due to
smoke from a vast forest fire in Alberta Canada. The smoke, so it was explained, rose to high level and acted as a dense filter which screened the
sunlight to its unnateral hue.
There was one serious flaw in that explaination; for at the same time the alleged smoke was said to be riding the winds eastward across the U.S., it
was also moving westward across the state of Washington and obscuring the sun. It is an odd wind indeed that blows smoke in two opposite directions
around the globe at the same time.
[edit on 30-7-2007 by Grock]