Saturday, April 18, 2015

A Small Note on an Puzzlingly-Ignored Mystery

FAFROTSKI ..... Ivan Sanderson's word for Things Which Fall From The Skies.

Most of you have seen the recent report by a biology teacher in Norway who was on a skiing trip with friends near Bergen. The group came across large numbers of worms {as pictured above} lying moribund but alive on the surface of the snow, which was in many places up to a meter deep. There was no sign of any penetration of the snow [i.e. tunneling upwards], and such behavior makes no survival sense at all anyway. The worms were just lying there as if dropped down in large numbers from above.

While no one in the teacher's party saw these worms in the act of falling, there was no explanation, given the quantities scattered about, of anything else which would explain their presence.

I've collected a thick notebook full of such strange {apparent} falls over the years, and Ivan collected hundreds of the incidents. Wormfalls are not as common as many other categories, but they are not absent in the literature either --- "famous" ones occurred in 1927 in Sydney NSW and in Sweden in 1924 and 1945 --- the latter one is pretty spectacular, being seen falling over an ellipse 100x300 meters in size, and some sploshing down into a family's cream cake. The worms were described as "deep frozen, transparent, and reddish in color." Neither the local crows nor chickens would eat them. {My guess here is that, being frozen, the worms didn't have the requisite odor that signaled dinner}.

The evidence therefore would point towards the fact that worms [and other things] DO fall from the sky. What continues to stun me however is the talk which tends to follow in the media when such things are acknowledged. There is always some denial skepticism, which usually makes no sense given the quality of the observations, and then some expert comes in and is quoted about "whirlwinds and waterspouts" picking up objects in one place and dumping them in another --- as if that could end the story. But it doesn't even come close.

Let us give the mini-tornado theory a temporary OK. Alright then, what are the "experts" saying? IF THEY FOLLOWED THEIR OWN LINE OF REASONING, then they must believe that these winds have the ability to pick up JUST ONE KIND OF OBJECT, leaving everything else on the ground [or in the water]. Boy, are those whirlwinds smart.

If they don't think that whirlwinds are that smart, they they must engage in further theoretical dances : Oh, only those particular things were at the site of the pick-up; nothing else at all, and large quantities of the things picked up. Hmmmm.... I find that idea EXTREMELY unreasonable. Oh well then, how about this?: The whirlwinds picked up all different sorts of stuff, but in transit dropped out everything but just this one kind of thing --- sort of like a fabulously efficient air centrifuge. So everything heavier was dumped AND everything lighter. And this despite that all manner of other things are JUST the density of the worms, or extremely near to it. And I find THAT just as unreasonable.

The mystery of the phenomenon of the Fafrotski is not that things fall, but that things are SORTED out during whatever the process is. Either something has sorted them while still "on the ground", or they have been somehow sorted in the air.

What about Norway's worms? I can't buy the air centrifuge theory [is there even one stated in the literature?]. It is a bit like the solid waste "air classification" blower system for separating mixed recyclables, but impossibly better refined. So how else might the Norwegian worms have been separated? Worms might "gather" I suppose, but how good are the chances with a natural process that nothing else of similar size [and lift-ability] was in the same place as the pickup?

But the great SORTER-OUTERS of the universe are intelligences. Whoops! Probably shouldn't go there. And maybe that's why the experts don't continue their line-of-reasoning either.


That's my BS for the day folks. I'll get back here with another Down-in-the-Cryptodumps entry [about ABSMs] soon,     Peace


  1. Good to see you again Prof. Spring is thinking about making an entrance and you're thinking of future posts - great news.

    The Norwegian press is currently reporting a small wave of similar accounts of worm 'sightings.'

    Your last post about FAFROTSKI prompted me to go away and really focus on a recent example. It involved two spangled-perch (fish) falls in Australia and was rich in weather data, witness reports and photographic information (locations, bodies of water etc). Naturally the 'water spouts' were at the front of the queue for explanations. Despite the richness of data, there was no 'making the case' for water spouts or storms.

    As we'd expect from so good an explanation, it's been airlifted in to explain the Norwegian worm report. I'm not ridiculing the water spout solution as it's very reasonable and will certainly account for a large number of apparently unusual falls. On the other hand, maybe folk shouldn't put all of their apples in one basket and accept that the best explanation isn't the de facto one for all reports, all of the time. I wouldn't presume to go further than saying that and remain content to scratch my head and allow for temporary usual.

    1. Hello, friend. Interesting case. I probably should hunt it down and add it into my file --- Ivan would have liked it for sure.

      These things, the good ones, quite boggle me. It's as if the Universe has something that operates within chaos and complexity with WAY too much precision. As a line from The Hitch Hikers Guide to the Galaxy said: It is thought that if we understood why this happens, we would understand a great deal more about the Universe than we do now.

  2. Of course, Charles Fort (especially in THE BOOK OF THE DAMNED) has a number of cases of worms or insect larvae falling, or appearing, with snow in winter. But there 's one, in the first chapter of LO!, accompanied by remarks that will greatly encourage you in your struggles:

    "I do not know how to find out anything new without being offensive. To the ignorant, all things are pure: all knowledge is, or implies, the degradation of something. One who learns of metabolism, looks at a Venus, and realizes she's partly rotten. However, she smiles at him, and he renews his ignorance. All things in the sky are pure to those who have no telescopes. But spots on the sun, and lumps on the planets--and, being a person of learning, or, rather, erudition, myself, I've got to besmirch something, or nobody will believe I am--and I replace the pure blue sky with the wormy heavens--

    "London EVENING STANDARD, Jan. 3, 1924--red objects falling with snow at Halmstead, Sweden.

    "They were red worms, from one to four inches in length. Thousands of them streaking down with the snowflakes--red ribbons in a shower of confetti--a carnival scene that boosts my discovery that meteorology is a more picturesque science than most persons, including meteorologists, have suspected--and I fear me that my attempt to besmirch has not been successful, because the worms of heaven seem to be a jolly lot. However, I cheer up at thought of chances to come, because largely I shall treat of human nature."

    Frank John Reid

  3. Hah! Now how did I know that it was you writing, Frank, after just reading the first couple of sentences?

  4. Hi, I'm an occasional lurker visiting from Anomalist. It's possible the worms are presorted before being picked up by hypothetical tornadoes or sublimated and recondensed before being dropped at high altitude. I grew up in Texas and live in Oklahoma and often see worms after a heavy rain. I generally see them collecting on the sidewalk or in the gutter near green lawns. It's as if the rain washes them out of the grass onto the concrete. Maybe rain washes the worms out of the grass onto a rocky surface before they are picked up by whatever force to be carried up to a higher altitude?

  5. Things dropped from the sky are not mysteriously sorted by some unknown force-they are cought up in a whirlwind type vortex.Things like frogs ,worms or straw etc would be seperated by weight like in a centrifuge thus dropped when the wind speed became too low to support their weight with the frogs being dropped first followed by the worms then the straw would be scatterd by the air currents and not make an obvious addition to the "skyfall event". I suggest if researchers can get to such an eveny quickly enough they would find more or less concentric rings of anomalous deposits-with the heaviest items/animals nearest the higest original windspeeds

  6. The last two responses are interesting in terms of Fortean "discussion". Note that "Les" builds off a suggestion that I made in the blog entry and adds his personal observations to support a rather congenial Fortean-style inquiry, humbly punctuated by a question mark. The second response, however, announces the solution authoritatively with no question about whether this centuries old mystery had any doubt as to the obvious solution at all. [nor seeming awareness that the blog entry more humbly expressed the identical possibility of this, while {mildly} supporting the idea from my own personal experience with solid waste disposal technology plus the fact that I was a lab chemist using centrifuges]. The added fact that in all the work of William Corliss collecting these sorts of reports there are none which show this air centrifuge effect should, it would seem to Charles Fort and myself [and I'll bet Les], that absolute end-of-conversation declarations might be premature.

    I only belabor this difference in behavior to note that it illustrates precisely how we get ourselves into trouble by jumping to conclusions and sweeping things away. Charles Fort [and my friend Frank Reid above] would have just hated that approach. In fact his entire "philosophy" was engineered to warn against it.

    1. The centrifuge effect is my own personal opinion but I certainly do not dismiss other causes/opinions however bizzare /supernatural. I have only read this page not any Blogs/ Links on the subject and think this is the most likley explanation again in my own personal opinion.Aristotle — 'It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it.'

    2. All good. Nothing wrong with speculating when the speculation is phrased as an open-minded opinion rather than a statement of fact. I find that when I float my own opinions in humble language, people actually want to have conversations with me. That is fun and often even illuminating.

  7. First, Gentlefolks, a disclaimer if I might: I am neither a scientist nor have studied this phenomenon. With that being said, I have a problem with the "centrifugal" theory as presented. Namely, where are the reports in nearby areas of frogs or straw?

    1. I obviously agree with you. Until we get "multiple dumping" reports, this theory is pretty speculative and data-absent.



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