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Meat Showers from the Annals of Peculiar Precipitation

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posted on Oct, 3 2017 @ 04:55 PM
No, a meat shower is not an opportunity for guys to hang out eating bacon while the womenfolk are attending bridal showers or baby showers or any of those other showers that most of us manly men wouldn't (willingly) be caught dead at (unless our wives made us).

Meat shower seems to be the preferred nomenclature for the anomalous phenomenon of meat in any number of forms, falling from the sky — sometimes purportedly from clouds, possibly red clouds, and other times from a clear blue sky.

Today, I bring to you 8 meat-eorlogical accounts, including the somewhat famous Kentucky Meat Shower. This is third of my recent threads on strange showers, peculiar precipitation, fantastic falls, random rains or however you prefer to label these anomalous phenomena. The other two threads are: A Selection of Anomalous Rains and A Light Drizzle of Fish in Mexico (about a recent fish fall).

And now without further ado, let's open up our umbrellas and delve right in.

1841 Lebanon, Tennessee

7. Shower of red matter like blood and muscle.— We are indebted to Prof. Troost, of Nashville, Tennessee for an interesting notice of a remarkable event. It appears from communications made to that gentleman, that on Friday, August 17, between one and two o'clock, P. M., the negroes of Mr. Chandler, near Lebanon, Wilson County, Tennessee, came in and reported that it had been raining blood in the tobacco field where they had been at work; that near noon there was a rattling noise like rain or hail, and drops of blood, as they supposed, which fell from a red cloud which was flying over. Intelligent men visited the ground, and observed drops apparently of blood on the upper surface of the tobacco leaves, and portions of flesh and fat — one piece one and a half inches long, emitting a very offensive smell over the field.

The drops evidently fell perpendicularly over a space from forty to sixty yards broad, and six or eight hundred yards long. Some particles appeared to have been clear blood uncombincd with any thing else; others, blood united with muscular fibre and fat. Dr. Troost, after visting the place, is decidedly of the opinion that it was animal matter, but he thinks not blood; although he distinctly distinguished muscular fibres, on maceration of the matter in water, which separated longitduinally, as in the case of drid beef; they were of a reddish brown color. The pieces supposed to be blood were brown and resembled glue. There was a distinct smell of animal matter in a state of putrefaction.

Both the muscular part and that which had been called blood, were heated in a glass tube, and were similarly affected as beef would have brown fluid rose, and a black animal charcoal remained. Dr. Troost concluded, that without doubt this is animal matter, and belongs to our globe. He cites many instances of red rain, red dust, red sand, red snow, showers of blood, so called, &c. in various centuries from 472 of our era to 1814, and gives the authorities. There is now no room to relate or discuss these statements, and it remains only to give the conclusion of Dr. Troost.

After alluding to the well known power of wind to raise materials high into the atmosphere and to transport them to the distance of many (even in some cases, as in volcanic eruptions, hundreds of miles,) he observes: "Such a wind might have taken up part of an animal which was in a state of decomposition, and have brought it in contact with an electric cloud, in which it was kept in a state of partial fluidity or viscosity. In this case, the cloud which was seen by the negroes, as well as the state in which the materials were, is accounted for."

Dr. Troost gives many cases of transported seeds, pollen, and similar things— which have been taken for showers of sulphur. When we remember that even fishes have fallen in showers, we cannot doubt that whirlwinds may elevate and transport parts of animals and deposit them in distance places.

Shower of red matter like blood and muscle. (1841) American Journal of Science, Volume 41, pg.403-404 (link)

I hesitated to include this one as a couple of years later, the journal printed a correction (vol 44, pg.216), citing local newspapers claiming that it had been nothing more than a practical joke played by those wacky slaves. Upon further consideration, that explanation seemed equally likely to be an attempt at "practising my credulity."

1850 Benicia, California

A strong west wind blew through clear skies July 20, 1851, the day the meat fell, according to a news account published July 24, 1851, in the San Francisco Daily Herald.

Major Heintzleman and another officer, Major Allen, observed the “meat shower” that day. Allen was struck by one of the pieces that fell during the shower that lasted two or three minutes, according to the Daily Herald account.

“The pieces were from the size of a pigeon’s egg up to that of an orange — the heaviest perhaps weighing three ounces,” the news article reported.

No birds were seen at the time, the article said, noting that other “meat showers” had been blamed on flocks of regurgitating birds, including vultures.

Allen and the post surgeon collected some samples of the meat, which appeared to be beef. One piece examined after the fall had a portion of a small blood vessel, some muscle sheath and fiber.

“It was slightly tainted,” the news story reported.

The meat shower covered an area about 300 yards long and 80 yards wide. Soldiers gathered the rest, which the report said amounted to between two and a half and five bushels in bulk.

Additionally, “No pieces of bone were found,” the report said.

Donna Beth Weilenman (23 August 2015) Benicia’s ‘meat shower’ mystery endures. Benicia Herald Online. (link)

This is the first of a several such showers reported over a two decades long period in California. Interestingly, in this same period of time, other odd rains of sugar crystals, lizards and coagulated blood were reported in the state. The strange phenomena of 19th century California seems much more interesting that what's alleged now, such as the case of the 3 million phantom votes.

In addition to being the first of the California accounts, this one would seem somewhat more credible than others as there were a number of witnesses which included military officers.
edit on 2017-10-3 by theantediluvian because: (no reason given)

posted on Oct, 3 2017 @ 04:56 PM
1863 Sacramento, California

A meat shower was reported to have fallen on a single farm on the edge of town. The incident, which was witnessed by two people, began when they noticed that the farmer's chickens were pecking at something on the ground. Upon closer observations, the witnesses saw that it was flesh, and they then noticed that it was falling around them from the cloudless sky. The farmer collected some samples before the chickens could eat all of them, noting that the samples were three to four inches long and approximately two inches wide, each weighing approximately one-quarter pound. The composition of the specimens appeared to be liver mixed with grain.

Joanne O'Sullivan (2012) Bizarre Weather. Charlesbridge Publishing, Watertwon, MA. pg.28 (link)

This will forever change my perception of chickens. Who am I kidding? When I think chicken, I typically think nugget. That seems appropriate given that the chickens were alleged to have been eating quarter-pounders. (boom — does that qualify as McCannibalism?) Unfortunately, I couldn't find a contemporaneous newspaper or journal account of the event.

1869 San Jose, California

What next from California? A San Jose paper relates that a shower of fresh meat has fallen upon a spot in that vicinity. The ground to the extent of about five acres was covered with meat, which fell from a clear sky. One gentleman who was standing in the field was pelted with the little chunks, and another made quite a collection of the fragments to show to the editor.

What next from California? (24 March 1869) The Wheeling Daily Intelligencer. Wheeling W.Va. pg.2 (link)

In 1869 there was a flurry of alleged meat showers. This was the first. From context clues taken from a few other sources, it's possible that there was a second meat shower in the same area in June. The next California shower comes from a few hundred miles away as the vomiting vulture flies:

1869 Los Nietos Twp, California

Flesh and blood that fell "from the sky," upon Mr. J. Hudson's farm, in Los Nietos Township, California -- a shower that lasted three minutes and covered an area of two acres. The conventional explanation is that these substances had been disgorged by flying buzzards. "The day was perfectly clear, and the sun was shining, and there was no perceptible breeze," and if anybody saw buzzards, buzzards were not mentioned.

The story is told in the San Francisco Evening Bulletin, Aug. 9, 1869.(27) The flesh was in fine particles, [88/89] and also in strips, from one to six inches long. There were short, fine hairs. One of the witnesses took specimens to Los Angeles, and showed them to the Editor of the Los Angeles News, as told in the News, August 3rd. The Editor wrote that he had seen, but had not kept the disagreeable objects, to the regret of many persons who had besieged him for more information. "That the meat fell, we can not doubt. Even the parsons of the neighborhood are willing to vouch for that. Where it came from, we can not even conjecture." In the Bulletin, it is said that, about two months before, flesh and blood had fallen from the sky, in Santa Clara County, California.

Charles Fort (1931) Lo!. Chapter 7. (link)

Here we can see one reference in Fort's notes to a possible meat shower in June near the March shower in San Jose. It's quite possible that sources confused the details and the references are actually to the earlier fall in March. A singular meat shower is one thing but can one reasonable expect meat to strike twice in the same location?

It's worth noting that what is alleged to have fallen here includes finer pieces and strips of meat rather than chunks. Knowing absolutely nothing but what I've observed on film of larger carrion feeders feeding, I would imagine that strips would comport well with a hypothesis of disgorged meat from a birds flying overhead. That is of course assuming that the neighborhood parsons are to be believed about the meat shower in the first place.

1871 El Monte, California

A report was current at Los Angeles on the 4th inst. that a heavy shower of meat had fallen from the clouds, upon the corn fields of El Monte. About this time last year a similar shower fell in Los Nietos, with these differences, then it was raw, now it is said to be "boiled;" then the blades of the standing corn were "drenched with blood," now they are moistened by a kind of homeopathic soup.

English Extracts (26 October 1871) The Maitland Mercury and Hunter River General Advertiser. NSW, AU. pg.1 (link)

This meat shower, the last of the California accounts, stands out the most as in all other cases, the meat was raw. Though I imagine, it's possible that vultures could have gotten their peaks into cooked meat that had been discarded (also, homeopathic soup — ewww), though an explanation of buzzard puke seems implausible for anything reasonably described as a "heavy shower."

A couple other notes. This fall reportedly occurred within a 20 mile radius of the 1869 Los Nietos meat shower. In 1870, in neighboring Riverside County, CA, there was reported fall of coagulated blood on farmhouse and surrounding fields. Witnesses claimed that immediately preceding the rain of blood, a whirlwind was spotted crossing the field.
edit on 2017-10-3 by theantediluvian because: (no reason given)

posted on Oct, 3 2017 @ 04:56 PM
1876 Olympian Springs, Kentucky

Louisville, March 9. — The Bath County (Ky.) News of this date saysl "On last Friday a shower of meat fell near the house of Allen Crouch, who lives some two or three miles from the Olympian Springs in the southern portion of the county, covering a strip of ground about one hundred yards in length and fifty wide. Mrs. Crouch was out in the yard at the time, engaged in making soap, when meat which looked like beef began to fall around her. The sky was perfectly clear at the time, and she said it fell like large snow flakes, the pieces as a general thing not being much larger. One piece fell near her which was three or four inches square. Mr. Harrison Gill, whose veracity is unquestionable, and from whom we obtained the above facts, hearing of the occurrence visted the locality the next day, and says he saw particles of meat sticking to the fences and scattered over theground. The meat when it first fell appeared to be perfectly fresh.

The correspondent of the Louisville Commercial, writing from Mount Sterling, corroborates the above, and says the pieces of flesh were of various sizes and shapes, some of them being two inches square. Two gentlemen, who tasted the meat, express the opinion that it was either mutton or venison.

Flesh Descending in a Shower (10 March 1876) The New York Times. New York, NY. (link)

I want to start hear by saying don't eat things that fall from the sky unless you're literally starving to death. It's just a bad, bad, bad idea and surprisingly, as I've read many of these accounts, whenever something seems even remotely edible, some jackass seems determined to eat it. Don't do it folks. It's (probably not) going to give you super powers and there's a pretty good chance if it's a meat shower, that you're actually eating roadkill puked up by passing vultures.

The Kentucky Meat Shower is by far the most noteworthy of the bunch. I imagine in no small part due to having a piece about it published in the New York Times. Also, you don't argue with facts given by Harrison Gill, the guy's veracity was unquestionable. This notoriety perhaps contributed to more attention being paid by the scientific community. The first to write about it was Leopold Brandeis (no idea) who received specimens from the shower, preserved in glycerin. In his analysis, published shortly thereafter in Scientific American, he concluded that what was found was a species of cyanobacteria, Nostoc craneum, which had swelled up following a rain.

This is perhaps not surprising as nostoc species are often cited as the likely source of the translucent, gelatinous masses commonly referred to as "star jelly" — which folklore holds as a form of celestial precipitation accompanying meteor showers.

However, that's not the end of the story as this Scientific American blog post explains:

Fortunately, Brandeis didn't play a completely useless role in the investigation, because he had given a couple of mystery meat samples to experienced histologist and president of the Newark Scientific Association, Dr. A. Mead Edwards, who said it was likely the lung tissue of a human infant or a horse. Another histologist, Dr. J.W.S. Arnold, studied the specimens and agreed, concluding in The American Journal of Microscopy and Popular Science that they consisted of some kind of animal cartilage and lung tissue.

Eventually, seven samples were examined by several scientists, who confirmed two to be lung tissue, three to be muscular tissue, and two were said to be made of cartilage. So how did they come to be involved in the Infamous Kentucky Shower of Flesh?

Enter the man with the best explanation for the "shower of quivering flesh” that we’re probably ever going to get - Dr L. D Kastenbine, who wrote in a 1876 edition of the Louisville Medical News that it was, quite literally, a coordinated bout of projectile vulture vomit.

Having obtained a sample of his own, Kastenbine set fire to it and observed that it smelt distinctly of rancid mutton. “The only plausible theory explanatory of this anomalous shower appears to me to be that suggested by the old Ohio farmer - the disgorgement of some vultures that were sailing over the spot, from their immense height, the particles were scattered by the prevailing wind over the ground," he wrote. “The variety of tissue discovered - muscular, connective, fatty, structureless etc - can be explained only by this theory.”

The above is a picture of the a preserved specimen from the Kentucky Meat Shower, from the Arthur Byrd Cabinet at Transylvania University. (yes, that's a real university if you're wondering and it's in KY)

posted on Oct, 3 2017 @ 04:56 PM
Oh boy, I'm on post #4. However, I promised you eight accounts of meat falling from the sky and as a man of my word, 8 I shall provide (assuming I counted correctly, if I not I'll go back and edit all the posts).

The last meat shower in this selection comes from Argentina and was reported to have happened just last year. And there are pictures. Gory pictures. Or delicious pictures. Depending on what kind of meat it is.

I don't know how I didn't read a thing about it at the time but this was entirely new to me. I'm going to excerpt the details from the Spanish language source so you'll have to forgive Google translation services for any mistakes.

Los Andes - Follow the mystery of the rain of meat that fell on the town of Picún Leufú

"The lady was in the nursery of the house and her husband was in the field looking after the animals. At that moment he heard a rain on the house, as if it were hail, and when he came out he saw the pieces of meat scattered in a radius of about 50 meters above the nursery and the house, "said Ramón Cuevas, president of the Commission of Promotion of Picun Bridge.

It was the morn in the afternoon, but the community of 540 inhabitants near Zapala can not stop talking about the subject.

Cuevas says that no one heard airplanes or helicopters pass, as one might suppose that the cellar was opened and a load of prime beef fell, since it was lean and had no bones.

"There were no bones visible," he added.

I thought it was hail

The woman heard noises and thought it was hail. But he saw flesh and blood on the roof. When she arrived, her husband told her and they called the 22 police station in Zapala, whose prosecution tries to elucidate the case.

Cuevas added that the meat was fresh. "Something weird, something unusual, the family is pretty bad, because they want to know and have a trauma about this fact."

Not much other details except the article from September 9th, 2016, states that the Attorney General of Zappala has ascertained that the meat is animal origin. Which is reassuring.

Thanks for reading (skimming, whatever, I'm not picky)! Here's a palate cleanser:

posted on Oct, 3 2017 @ 05:22 PM
a reply to: theantediluvian

Good job you got a certain word in your headline spelt correctly...

Now, show me a report with well seasoned, medium-rare rib eye steaks falling from the sky and im interested!!

Oh and chips and roast vegetables on the side...

Interesting thread OP, im looking forward to part 2...

posted on Oct, 3 2017 @ 05:27 PM

Thanks for reading (skimming, whatever, I'm not picky)! Here's a palate cleanser:

Yay skimmer here!!!

I want to know how much mass is involved in this, i like to think in the old cases a bunch of vultures trowed up and in the newer cases a bunch of birds meet jet engines.

One of those cool things that happens in earth that are so weird you think its a fake until someone prove is something super mundane that you can only say meh

edit on 3-10-2017 by Indigent because: no alien probing involve

posted on Oct, 3 2017 @ 05:49 PM
Thanks Anti. Cool thread.

Since these things sometimes happen when no clouds are in the sky, they have to be fairly high up in the atmosphere before they drop. I can understand the falling fish, from water spouts. But sliced and diced meat adds another layer of weirdness.

posted on Oct, 3 2017 @ 05:51 PM
Huh ...

With the exception of the one in Argentina, you cited either TN/KY or California.

posted on Oct, 3 2017 @ 05:53 PM
a reply to: theantediluvian

It's obviously caused by aliens dumping their failed experiments.

I hope it rains gold next. Cool thread man.

posted on Oct, 3 2017 @ 06:25 PM
a reply to: SecretKnowledge

For that, you might need to follow these guys around:

posted on Oct, 3 2017 @ 06:29 PM
a reply to: theantediluvian

Charles Fort in his several books reported a lot of these incidents in addition to falls of fish and other unlikely products from the sky.

We should image that the UFOs of the late 1800s did not have food disposers in their tiny galleys and simply dumped the unwanted material from their dissections of earth creatures. A similar practice of getting rid of trash as was/is done on ships at sea.

'Course, if you want to imagine a better solution please offer it.

posted on Oct, 3 2017 @ 06:45 PM
a reply to: Indigent

Well the only one that really talks about the volume is the 1850 incident: between 2.5 and 5 bushels. So that would be 10 to 20 pecks.

I'm assuming they're talking bushels as it was used for volume, as in a bushel basket. That would be 2150.42 cubic inches or just shy of 1.25 cubic feet. So between 3.125 ft^3 and 6.25 ft^3.

This is a 6 ft^3 box:

posted on Oct, 3 2017 @ 06:50 PM
a reply to: bluesjr

NP. I favor the vulture vomit hypothesis. Vultures can fly *exceedingly* high. It's also fun to say.

posted on Oct, 3 2017 @ 06:53 PM

originally posted by: FauxMulder
a reply to: theantediluvian

It's obviously caused by aliens dumping their failed experiments.

I hope it rains gold next. Cool thread man.

I've got a decently long list compiled of money falling from the sky, including ancient silver coins (thought to have been a cache exposed by heavy rains and later lifted up with dirt in a whirlwind of some sort) and a few instances of paper money falling from the sky but no gold.

I do remember reading somewhere that diamonds may rain down in gas giants though. So there's that.

posted on Oct, 3 2017 @ 06:56 PM
a reply to: theantediluvian

What a weird system Americans got... google told me 5 American bushels is about 176L, like 1/3 of a cow, too big for a vulture
too small for mad aliens?

I saw a picture of cows killed by a twister and they are pretty intact, weird tat a natural phenomena would chop the meat, that's why a bird eating pieces and trowing them made sense to me but a vulture can only eat a kg

Oh well I wish I could see something weird one day (and live to tell the tale)

posted on Oct, 3 2017 @ 06:56 PM

edit on 3-10-2017 by Indigent because: I dint do it

posted on Oct, 3 2017 @ 06:57 PM

originally posted by: ketsuko
Huh ...

With the exception of the one in Argentina, you cited either TN/KY or California.

California became a state in what? 1850? I have to wonder if some of this wasn't just people in a new, relatively alien environment and making up fantastic stories. Something else that I was just thinking is that all of those California meat showers occurred within the range of the California Condor.

posted on Oct, 3 2017 @ 07:06 PM
Dearest Anti,

I will be glad when you work through this 'meat shower' phase.

Best wishes for a speedy recovery.


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