6. WEIRD CLOUDS
Clouds are fluffy, benign masses of water vapor, right? Consider this: In an otherwise clear September sky near Agen, France in 1814, a small, white, spherical cloud appeared. It floated motionless for a while before beginning to spin and head quickly southward. Witnesses reported that deafening rumbling noises thundered from the cloud, and then it suddenly exploded in a shower of rocks and stones. The cloud then slowly faded away.
This is one case of extremely rare and highly unusual behavior from clouds. Other documented reports tell of clouds that move against the wind, clouds that rain insects or carry peculiar shadows. There is even a story of a man from Oyster Bay, Long Island who was attacked by a spitting cloud. It's difficult to come up with any kind of rational explanations for these weird tales.
7. FISH FALLS
One of the most recent examples of fish falling from the sky took place the summer of 2000 in Ethiopia. A local newspaper reported: "The unusual rain of fish, which dropped in millions from the air - some dead and others still struggling - created panic among the mostly religious farmers." This is just one of countless case studies of rains of fish, frogs, periwinkles - even alligators - that have been cataloged over the centuries, many by famed paranormal researcher Charles Fort. (Such rains of creatures have been, in fact, come to be known as "Fortean" activity.)
Most often these rains of animals are attributed to severe storms, tornadoes, water spouts and related phenomena. Although the theory has not yet been proved, it holds that strong winds pick up the fish or frogs from bodies of water such as ponds, streams and lakes, carry them aloft - sometimes for miles and miles - and then drop them over land.
The peculiar fact that challenges this theory is this: in most cases, the rains are of one kind of animal only. It rains one species of herring, for example, or a particular kind of frog. How can this be explained? Could a powerful gust of wind be so discriminating? If the storm scooped up water from a pond, wouldn't it rain all kinds of things one finds in a pond - frogs, toads, fish, weeds, sticks and probably beer cans?
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8. CROP CIRCLES
I hesitate to include crop circles because I'm nearly convinced that they are all probably man-made. Yet, even though many groups of people have come forward to admit that they have designed and created the sometimes elaborate - and quite often beautiful - crop formations, there remains a die-hard faction of believers that insists that at least some crop circles are caused by some unexplained phenomenon.
Crop circles have been reported in nearly every country on Earth. In fact, according to Crop Circle Central, the only major countries that have never reported formations are China and South Africa. Plain round crop circles as we know them began to appear in abundance in the 1970s. But then in 1990, we began to see far more intricate and complex pictograms. Believers suggested they might be a form of communication from extraterrestrials - or from the Earth itself. Those who say they are not manmade point to several peculiarities found in the affected crops: woven stalks, cellular changes in the grain stalks, and strange phenomena experienced by researchers examining the circles, such as unexplained equipment failures, sounds and other physical effects.
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