This Day In Weather History is a daily podcast by Chris Mei from The Weather Network, featuring stories about people, communities and events and how weather impacted them.
You know how the saying goes, “if you get struck by a meteorite, go buy a lottery ticket.” Made up quotes aside, on November 30, 1954, Ann Hodges became the first person to get hit by a meteorite.
Let’s paint the picture. You’re at home, lying on your couch and enjoying an afternoon nap. You’re covered with quilts. Essentially the most quaint scene. Suddenly, a meteorite comes crashing through your roof, pinballs off of your radio and onto your hip.
Now, let’s look at the picture:
That is exactly what happened to Ann Hodges. Hodges was lying on her couch in Sylacauga, Alabama and was woken up by a fallen piece of space.
The meteorite was comprised of sulphide, it weighed 8.5 pounds, and was seven inches long.
Though Hodges guard was definitely down, people in Sylacauga and areas across eastern Alabama were looking upward and seeing all sorts of stuff.
One person is quoted seeing “a bright reddish light like a Roman candle trailing smoke,” While others reported, “a fireball, like a gigantic welding arc, accompanied by tremendous explosions and a brown cloud.”
It was 1954, so Cold War paranoia had some people thinking it was “The Russians”. And then you of course have the group of people who assume UFO.
With all of the theories spreading, the Sylacauga police chief decided to confiscate the rock and gave it to the Air Force. The Air Force confirmed that it was indeed a meteorite.
So now who would get to keep the sulfidic rock? On one hand, it landed on Hodges. But on the other hand, according to Hodges’ landlord Birdie, it landed through her ceiling.
To hear more about this statistically wild occurrence, listen to today’s episode of “This Day In Weather History“.
Thumbnail credit: University of AlabamaInternet Explorer Channel Network