Is life that normal? Every now and then something occurs that perhaps we think didn’t happen; or it just seems so out of the ordinary we dismiss it. Such occurrences like ghostly phenomena and UFO sightings fall into this category. What about things like falling balls of flame from the sky?
It was this very same mystery that led my research to Charles Fort. It was a sunny day in mid july. I was looking out across the bay, when I noticed a ball of flame falling from the sky. My initial thought was, did anyone else see that? The young woman next to me had witnessed it as well. We started discussing what it might have been. Was it a meteor, or maybe a boat flare, was it debris from an aircraft? As we were discussing, another ball of flame began to fall from the sky, along with two more that splintered off from the original location. We watched them land and then after spending a good hour discussing it continued on our way.
This event had me so perplexed I spent several days trying to track down what could have caused such a spectacle. I checked the local news and there were no such occurrences reported. Perhaps the observatory had something on it, if it was a meteor shower surely they would know. Again my search results came up blank. What were these balls of flame? It was not until a year later when I started reading the Book of the Damned that some light was shed upon these mysterious falling objects of the sky.
Charles Fort’s writing is a bit of scientific satire mixed with seemingly esoteric and occult mystery. Such as when blood and body tissue fell from the sky by Los Angeles in 1869. Much of Fort’s writing remains a mystery but some of the phenomena such as his descriptions of ball lightning have been proven. There is still much that remains unknown and wether hiswriting his half fiction or half science few have bothered to determine it. Charles Fort’s writings contain a cornucopia of fantastic and surreal ideas. While the mystery of the balls of flame was never resloved, I did learn that there are many more things far more bizarre than simply fire in the sky.